In the state of Vermont, the Homeland Security Unit (HSU) is responsible for coordinating and supporting state and local emergency response organizations. HSU also supervises counter-terrorism programs designed to reduce or eliminate the threat of a nuclear, radiological, chemical or biological attack.
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Role of Vermont Homeland Security Unit
One of the primary objectives of the HSU is to integrate local and state communications with federal networks. Alignment with the National Emergency Communications Plan is a necessary step to facilitating enhanced communications with state and federal coordinators during or following a terrorist incident. The Vermont Communications Board is a multi-agency group that brings together diverse personnel to improve communications integration.
The HSU is also committed to identifying, analyzing and preventing criminal and terrorist elements from performing actions that would detriment the health and wellbeing of state residents. A key agency in this effort is the Vermont Information and Analysis Center which gathers, analyzes and distributes intelligence to federal, local, state and private sector partners. All analysts in this agency must be trained and certified by state or federal agencies.
In order to better protect Vermont, the HSU continues to assess public infrastructure like utilities, airports and railroads to identify vulnerabilities and potential targets. The HSU in cooperation with local and private sector groups develop safeguards designed to enhance security and minimize threat of an attack upon critical infrastructure.
Training and Requirements to Become a Homeland Security Professional in Vermont
One of the most important structures within any state are the judges and courts of the state judiciary. These judicial systems employ homeland security professionals to limit the risks presented by terrorists or criminals. The Vermont Judiciary recently posted a vacancy for a Security and Safety Program Manager with the following minimum qualifications:
- Must possess a bachelor’s degree in public administration, criminal justice or a related field
- Must have at least seven years of experience in security of law enforcement
- Must have at least two years of experience supervision or administration; or two years of post-graduate coursework
- Knowledge of security procedures, concepts and principles
- Knowledge of program management, evaluation criteria and goal/objectives
- Knowledge of law enforcement and investigative techniques and procedures
- Ability to mediate conflicts
- Superior skills in critical thinking and problem solving
- Knowledge of cyber security and standards
- Ability to work with court officials, public agencies and the general public
Training for first responders, public officials and homeland security personnel is provided by the Vermont Homeland Security Training Program. In addition to conducting training exercises adapted from federal incident models, this program also provides training courses in the following areas:
- CBRNE Detection
- Fire incident response support
- Responder safety and health
- Explosive Device Response Operations
- Search and rescue
- WMD/hazardous materials response and decontamination
- Terrorism awareness
- Emergency management
- On-site incident management
Many of the state’s colleges and universities also offer degrees or certifications for homeland security studies. These may be accessed online or through campuses.