Normalizing Cybersecurity: Improving Cyber Incident Response with the Incident Command System

Darin HansOn EXECUTIVE SUMMARY In February of 2018, the state of Colorado became the first state in the nation to issue an emergency declaration for a cyber attack after its Department of Transportation was struck with ransomware.[1]  After early struggles responding to the incident, the Incident Command System (ICS) was implemented and a Unified Command

Strategic Communications and the Department of Homeland Security: Immigration Policies, Mixed Messaging, and Information Fratricide

Jonathan Graham EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Many Americans disapproved of the immigration enforcement policies of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) during the Trump administration. This thesis begins by asking what can be learned about DHS’s communications strategy during controversial policy rollouts and whether a negative perception of those policies can be improved. Previous research has not

The Crisis of Legitimacy after Police-Related Civilian Deaths: Applying the Cynefin Framework to Legitimacy-Developing Policies

Stephen Espinoza EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Police-related civilian deaths, either by use of force or occurring during law enforcement custody, pose one of the central challenges to police legitimacy.[1] For example, protesters marched against police funding, sporadic episodes of civil disorder erupted, and police policy reviews commenced in the wake of the May 2020 death of George

Security Cooperation with Cuba: The Impact of Normalization on the Coast Guard’s Relationship with the

Derek Cromwell EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Despite the ups and downs in the political and diplomatic relationship, bilateral cooperation between the United States and Cuba still needs to continue, if only because the countries are so close geographically and have many security and other interests in common. Enduring relationships, such as those between the Coast Guard and

Fire When Ready: A Needs-Based Analysis of Firearms in the U.S. Fire Sector

Christopher Zam EXECUTIVE SUMMARY What are the most relevant factors to consider when establishing firearms policies within the U.S. fire sector? What are the implications for fire organizations opting to implement gun-carry models? Can a Policy Options Analysis offer practical gun policy guidance for fire jurisdictions throughout the United States, or does the complexity of

Policing the Aerotropolis: A Model for Securing the Nation’s Large Airports

Joshua Cousins EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The concept of the airport city was developed in the early 1990s, sparking the term “aerotropolis” to define the major metropolitan growth of airports around the world.[1] Today, several airports in the United States have expanded into major metropolitan areas in their own right and an emerging dichotomy exists within these

Stepping Out of the Shadows: Leveraging the Community to Stop the Sexual Exploitation of Minors

Elisabeth Yerkes EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The online transmission of child pornography and other cyber sexual crimes has exploded in recent years, and law enforcement does not have the resources to stop it. The volume of child pornography reported to law enforcement is staggering. In 2019, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) received approximately

In the Line of Fire: Safeguarding America’s Election Security

Laura Hughes EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The U.S. Electoral System and democracy continue to be under attack by foreign adversaries and political extremists who intend to manipulate U.S. elections. Despite the diligent work of election stakeholders, vulnerabilities within the current system continue to provide adversaries a vehicle to disrupt U.S. elections. The recent 2016 and 2020 U.S.

The Case for Affirming Diversity: Reflective Recruitment That Represents the Community Served

Joseph Pulvermacher EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Fitchburg Fire Department (FFD)’s membership today is not diverse. In other words, FFD remains whiter than the population it serves. The problem is that Fitchburg’s initiatives to find motivated, diverse firefighter candidates and inspire reflective recruitment have experienced limited success. This thesis sought to answer the following questions: What can be

Policing for the 22nd Century: A Complexity Theory-based Approach

Brian Hollan EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The dominant model of professional policing in the United States is the so-called “standard model,” which coalesced during the 1960s and 1970s.[1] Weisburd and Eck have identified key characteristics of the standard model of policing as a focus on random patrol, rapid response to 911 calls, and reactive criminal investigations.[2] Calling