Spokane is a major center for homeland security personnel. Not only is there a robust local homeland security system manned by the Spokane Department of Emergency Management (DEM), but numerous other state and federal agencies have a strong presence in the city. The Federal Bureau of Investigations has based the Inland Northwest Regional Terrorism Task Force in Spokane, which provides anti-terrorism operations for eastern Washington, Montana and northern Idaho. This task force is supported by information provided by the Seattle Field Intelligence Group.
Spokane DEM is in charge of a number of homeland security initiatives including identifying and protecting key facilities, infrastructure and systems that could present a risk of attack from terrorists. DEM is also responsible for developing and executing training programs for public officials, first responders and community residents in anticipation of a potential terrorist incident.
Training and Requirements for Homeland Security Professionals in Spokane, Washington
Professionals with experience in weapons of mass destruction, public health, emergency management, business continuity planning, or border security are likely to find a wealth of homeland security jobs in Spokane, Washington. The exact requirements are dependent upon the job provider, but most such jobs expect applicants with qualifications similar to these:
- U.S. citizenship
- Ability to pass a comprehensive background check and acquire a security clearance
- A bachelor’s degree in
- Homeland security
- Terrorism studies
- International relations
- Public policy
- Information security
- Two years of experience in homeland security profession
- Experience designing and implementing training programs for homeland security personnel
- Knowledge of federal, state and local homeland security laws, regulations and policies
- Ability to work with homeland security personnel from intelligence, law enforcement and private sector organizations
- Knowledge of National Incident Management System or Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program
Training for homeland security professionals may be obtained through employers or through the Washington Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division. In addition to conducting training exercises for homeland security personnel on a regular basis, this agency also offers courses on homeland security topics including:
- Hazardous Materials Technician
- Radiological Emergency Response Operations
- WMD Respiratory Protection
- NIMS, an Introduction
- Incident Radio Communications Plan
- Public Works and Disaster Recovery
Incidents of Terrorism in Spokane
In 2011, a pipe bomb fitted with a radio control was found and safely removed from the route of the annual Martin Luther King Jr. parade. The culprit was found to be Kevin William Harpham, an affiliate of the white supremacist group National Alliance. Harpham was later convicted of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction and sentenced to 32 years in prison.
An incident at a Spokane shopping mall has sparked a FBI investigation. Noxious fumes were detected emitting from the HVAC system and contributed to the injuries of 38 people. Reports indicated that victims suffered symptoms similar to exposure to pepper spray including tearing, coughing, and scratchy throats.