Seattle’s many homeland security and anti-terrorism programs are overseen by the Seattle Office of Emergency Management (OEM). Not only does the OEM conduct a variety of assessment and evaluation programs that identify potential vulnerabilities to technological, terrorist or other hazards, this agency also provides training for homeland security professionals. These training programs include Seattle Neighborhoods Actively Prepare Classes and Household Preparedness Classes.
Terrorist Related Activity in Seattle
On July 29, 2006, Naveed Afzal Haq forcibly entered the Seattle Jewish Federation Building with two semi-automatic handguns and shot six women. The only fatality was Pamela Waechter. He reportedly declared his status as a Muslim American and his anger at Israel. He was convicted and sentenced to life without chance of parole and 120 years.
In 1999, Ahmed Ressam attempted to enter the U.S. at Port Angeles, Washington on a ferry from Canada with a bomb hidden in his motor vehicle. A customs inspector noticed his odd behavior and requested to search his vehicle. After being flagged for possessing a false ID, Ressam was arrested. Suspicious that the explosives could be intended for millennial celebrations on New Year’s Eve, Seattle shut down the celebration at the city center. Upon further investigation, it was determined that the target was actually Los Angeles International Airport.
How to Become a Homeland Security Professional in Seattle, Washington
With numerous major facilities in Seattle like the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Microsoft, there is a robust homeland security sector in the metropolitan area. Homeland security jobs in Seattle, Washington are widely available to professionals with backgrounds in information technology, public policy, criminal justice, public health and business management. The majority of these jobs have requirements similar to the following:
- U.S. citizenship
- A bachelor’s degree or post-graduate degree in
- Homeland security
- Information security
- Terrorism studies
- Emergency management
- Business administration
- Intelligence studies
- International relations
- Two or more years of full time experience in homeland security, disaster preparedness or emergency management
- Ability to pass a thorough background investigation and obtain a security clearance
- Knowledge of Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program, National Incident Management System and National Response Framework
- Ability to work with officials from federal, state and local agencies
- Knowledge of homeland security laws and regulations
Many of the universities in the Seattle area offer degree and certificate programs in homeland security. Academic certification programs are less demanding than graduate degree programs but often utilize similar course materials and instructors. While these certificate programs require only a few months of study, they typically provide intensive instruction within a specialized area of homeland security.
A number of industry organizations also offer accreditation programs for professionals currently working in the field. The National Domestic Preparedness Council offers the Certified Homeland Protection Professional (CHPP) accreditation, while the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security offers the Certified in Homeland Security (CHS) designation for qualified members.