Notes from the Editor (Vol. V, Iss. 2)

Download the full issue.This issue of Homeland Security Affairs opens on a sad note: Rich Cooper’s memoriam to Inspector Matthew Simeone, who passed away in March of this year. Co-president of cohort 0601-0602, Matt graduated from the Center for Homeland Defense and Security in 2007. Given his outstanding contribution to developing the Security/Police Information Network (SPIN) for the Nassau County Police Department, we are proud to dedicate this issue to Matt and his work in intelligence sharing and public/private partnerships, themes that run through many of the articles published here.

The need for partnership is underscored by Robert Bach and David Kaufman in “A Social Infrastructure for Homeland Security: Advancing the Homeland Security Paradigm.” While the federal government has called on state and local governments, businesses, communities, and individuals to work together to achieve a shared vision of homeland security, true involvement on the part of individuals has been hard to achieve, due in part to a strategy that relies on top-down federal management. Bach and Kaufman argue for a new approach that engages the American people and puts communities first, allowing individuals to strengthen their own preparedness through the existing array of everyday interactions that create social infrastructure. Only in this way can distrust of government, public health institutions, and the financial system be overcome and redirected to create a new social compact between individuals and the government.

Public health and government actions are the focus of Thomas Rempfer’s “The Anthrax Vaccine: A Dilemma for Homeland Security.” Looking at how past problems with the anthrax vaccine currently impact DHS and DHHS policy, Rempfer explores the recent history of the vaccine’s use and efficacy and questions its inclusion in the National Stockpile. He suggests alternatives for public health policy, including the use of antibiotics and the development of a new anthrax vaccine.

Intelligence sharing is the focus of “Global Metropolitan Policing: An Emerging Trend in Intelligence Sharing” by John Sullivan and James Wirtz. The article’s title refers to the emerging trend of police around the globe cooperating in sharing intelligence and best practices. More and more, urban police departments are interacting with foreign law enforcement, intelligence, and diplomatic agencies, plus private sector and non governmental agencies, forging links to counter terrorism, transnational gangs, and organized crime. The challenge, according to Sullivan and Wirtz, is for police to maintain the focus on and ties to local community concerns while thinking globally and co-operating across national boundaries. Only in this way can we preserve the rule of law in all nations and foster global security.

Cooperation and information sharing are a critical aspect of domestic homeland security as well, particularly as it relates to emergency preparedness at the local level. Hamilton Bean, in “Exploring the Relationship between Homeland Security Information Sharing and Local Emergency Preparedness,” looks at how preparedness information generated at the federal level is perceived at the city, county, and regional levels. Surveying registered users of the DHS Lessons Learned Information Sharing system (LLIS.gov), Bean found multiple—and at times conflicting—views of what information sharing and preparedness mean. Based on this study, Bean concludes that the federal government’s effort to create a “trusted partnership” and “culture of information sharing” among federal, state, and local agencies faces significant challenges.

A different aspect of preparedness is the focus of our final article, by Robert Hall and Erica Dusenberry Dimitrov. “The Application of Cost Management and Life-Cycle Cost Theory to Homeland Security National Priorities” suggests one way of understanding the resource implications of the National Preparedness System, as presented in the 2007 National Preparedness Guidelines. Using life-cycle cost theory, the authors document a methodology to quantify the costs of achieving and sustaining target capabilities and national priorities. The same methodology is then applied to the Explosive Device Response Operations (EDRO) capabilities. Hall and Dimitrov conclude with suggestions for next steps in developing and applying life-cycle cost theory methods to national preparedness.

To comment on these and previously published articles, please select the “comment” option within the individual article or email us at editor@hsaj.org.

The Editor

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