Homeland Security Degrees and Certification in Oregon

In the state of Oregon, the Counter-Terrorism Section (CTS) of the Oregon State Police provides supervision of state and local homeland security efforts.  The role of the CTS is to reduce the risk of terrorist attack from domestic and international enemies using nuclear, biological or chemical Weapons of Mass Destruction.  Within the CTS is also the Arson and Explosives Units.

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Terrorist Incidents in Oregon

1984, the followers of Bhagwan Rajneesh poisoned 751 people with salmonella by contaminating the salad bars at ten restaurants in Antelope, OR.   The incident was intended to incapacitate voters, so that Rajneesh could win an election to the Circuit Court of Wasco County. Of the victims, 45 had to be hospitalized.  This is the larger of the only two known bioterrorist attacks to have occurred in the U.S.

In 2013, a 17 year old teenager was charged with attempting to blow up the West Albany High School.  Grant Acord was found in possession of six bombs, ranging from drano bombs to Molotov cocktails.  The high school student was suspected of modeling his attack on the Columbine shootings.  The plot was foiled by classmates who informed authorities about Acord’s intentions.

Training and Requirements to Become a Homeland Security Professional in Oregon

Infrastructure like transportation systems and power grids are essential to U.S. security and are often targets for domestic or international terrorists.  The private companies that operate or provide services related to key infrastructure provide many of the homeland security jobs in Oregon.

Training for homeland security jobs in Oregon is most readily obtained through post-secondary educational institutions.  Many of the colleges and universities within the state offer associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctor’s degrees in related fields like criminal justice, security and protective services, homeland security studies or crisis management.  Many of these programs are available through classroom instruction or online portals.

Many of these academic institutions also offer short term certification programs for students or professionals.  These accreditations designate graduates as knowledgeable about specific areas within the homeland security field.  There are also private organizations like the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security, which offers a variety of credentials in

  • Anti-sabotage
  • Certified in Homeland Security I-V
  • Sensitive Security Information
  • Certified in Disaster Preparedness
  • Certified National Threat Analyst

One of the leading infrastructure companies in Oregon is SAIC, which published a job vacancy for an emergency management substation engineer with the following requirements:

  • Have a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering; a master’s degree is preferred
  • Possession of a professional engineer’s license
  • At least eight years of experience in engineering or design of electrical substations and utility transmission
  • Knowledge of electrical and civil engineering practices and principles
  • Knowledge of computer applications used in planning, design and analysis of utility projects
  • Ability to work with clients and stakeholders
  • Proficiency in technical writing

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