NCDP Perspectives

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Closing Homeland Security laboratories to build a wall puts lives in danger

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This post was originally published on December 13, 2017 in The Hill. Recent acts of terrorism at home and abroad remind us that our first responders are on the front lines, and that our national policies and programs should continue to support them. Unfortunately, the administration’s proposed budget threatens to undermine programs that our responders rely on. The clock is ticking for Congress to act. The president and the Department of Homeland Security’s fiscal 2018 budget call for the closure of the National Urban Security Technology laboratory along with the Chemical Security Analysis Center and the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center. This will save a mere $41.7 million out of an agency budget of $44.1 billion, or less than one tenth of one percent of the agency’s budget. Yet the impact is far greater. The National Urban Security Technology Laboratory in New York City supports first responders in many ways. Including servicing first responder radiation detection equipment, used to identify and prevent the use of nuclear devices, as well as radiological dispersal devices, known as

March 27, 2018

How to be ready in an age of low-tech terror: How New Yorkers should equip themselves, beyond ‘see something, say something’

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This post was originally published on December 12, 2017 in The Hill. Monday’s explosion in the underground corridor at 42nd St., much like the horrific attack in downtown Manhattan in October, reminds us that New York City is always in the crosshairs of terrorists. And as we have seen, terrorist organizations are constantly evolving their tactics. In addition to homemade bombs, lone-wolf terrorists can exact severe physical and psychological trauma simply with cars, knives and other low-tech weapons that require minimal planning and

March 27, 2018

Remarks by Jeff Schlegelmilch to the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense Meeting to Discuss Budget Reform

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The following are the prepared remarks of Jeff Schlegelmilch, Deputy Director of the National Center for disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, for the May 1 Public Meeting of the Blue Ribbon Study Panel on Biodefense to Discuss Budget Reform. I would like to thank the panel for the invitation to speak today, as well as for your continued work towards improving our nation’s biodefense capabilities. At the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University’s Earth Institute, we have been at the forefront of understanding these issues for over a decade by conducting primary research on preparedness, response and recovery, as well as conducting policy analysis and advocacy, and through the development of tools and trainings for the practice community. The nation has come a long way over the past decade and a half, due to the leadership of those of you on this panel, among many others.

May 1, 2017