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

Congress, learn from Zika and Ebola — Update US emergency fund

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This post was originally published on June 6, 2017 in The Hill. The public health community has been closely watching proposals for a badly needed public health emergency response fund. Such a fund would jump-start the response efforts in the event of a public health disaster and avoid the political wrangling and partisan gridlock that delayed the response to Zika virus. While there is a decades-old response fund, it is virtually unfunded and was not written for the environment we live in now, facing the threat of infectious diseases and bioterrorism. Currently, we live without a funding mechanism to respond to these crises. In order for a meaningful fund to be created it needs to address complex questions about its purpose, triggers for use, funding levels, and be the product of a deliberative process that includes the various stakeholders who will be affected by it. First and foremost, an emergency fund needs to

March 27, 2018