According to FCW, Sen. Collins and Sen. Lieberman have introduced a bill to create a new National Homeland Security Academy:
â€œIt was clear to me as I was working to create a Department of Homeland Security that we would need to find a way to make sure department professionals, as well as the state and local officials with whom they work, understand the full scope and range of responsibilities entrusted to the department, not just the details of their own particular jobs,â€ Lieberman said in a news release.
The academy would train leaders and provide cross-disciplinary education to government officials at all levels â€œso that they can develop the bonds and relationships that will make their work more efficient and effective,â€ Lieberman said.
According to the release, the academy would be modeled on the Defense Departmentâ€™s war colleges. Its purpose would be to ensure that DHSâ€™ new and midlevel executive employees and other federal, state and local officials understand DHSâ€™ mission and undergo hands-on training and simulation exercises….
This would be a common-sense element of a long-term strategy to build up human capital on homeland security. The Academy’s scope needs to be defined, however, in a way that is clearly different than the war colleges, given the diffuse nature of homeland security.
For example, given the private sector’s key role in homeland security and infrastructure protection, it seems like chief security officers or related private sector execs should be able to attend a program like this, if their companies are willing to foot the bill.
And the scope of training needs to be explicitly broad: not just focused on response to attacks, but also having strong programs on prevention-related activities, and courses that focus on the challenge of designing homeland security in a way that is integrated with other national interests, such as privacy rights and the efficient movement of commerce.