Wisconsin’s homeland security programs are supervised by the Wisconsin Homeland Security Council (WHSC). This organization provides guidance to Wisconsin’s governor, coordinates state and local counter-terrorism efforts and produces reports on the state’s readiness. In the latest annual report published in 2012, Wisconsin was actively engaged in beefing up public security systems like the Statewide Traffic Operations Center. There was an 11 percent increase in CCTVs on public throughways, a 17 percent increase overhead message boards and a ten percent increase in portable message boards.
Public Health Preparedness in Wisconsin
The WHSC has overseen the enhancement of public health systems including the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene (WSLH). This agency is critical to the identification and analysis of biological and chemical agents. Periodic testing of operational efficiency in 2012 indicated that the WSLH had the capacity to detect and evaluate more than 40 threat agents. The Wisconsin National Guard has also been equipped and trained to respond to hazardous chemical and biological threats. More than 130 hospitals and clinical laboratories have joined the Wisconsin Clinical Laboratory Network, which allows for rapid communication of potential threats to public health.
Major Terrorist Events in Wisconsin
On August 5th of 2012, Wade Michael Page entered a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and opened fire on the crowd gathered there. Page killed six individual as well as himself, and injured four others. Page was a self-avowed white supremacist and U.S. Army veteran. After the police were notified of the incident and arrived on the scene, Page was shot in the stomach before killing himself with a self-inflicted gunshot to the head.
Training and Requirements to Become a Homeland Security Professional
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has facilities and operations throughout the country including Wisconsin. The CDC recently published an ad for a Public Health Advisor with an annual salary ranging from $68,809 up to $89,450. The minimum requirements for this job included:
- U.S. citizenship
- Ability to pass a federal background investigation
- A bachelor’s degree in biomedical sciences, public health, or public administration
- At least one year of experience at the GS-11 level of difficulty
- Knowledge of public health services
- Knowledge of budget management and federal grants
- Knowledge of program evaluation and analysis
- Excellent verbal, written and interpersonal communications skills
There are a variety of public and private schools that offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in homeland security related fields like:
- Terrorism studies
- Emergency preparedness and management
- Police psychology
- Disaster management
- Border security
- Hazard materials and environmental compliance
While the majority of these programs utilize campus instruction, some local and national schools provide training through online portals. These schools may also offer certification programs which designate graduates as proficient in specified areas of homeland security. A number of private, industry associations also offer certification programs including the National Domestic Preparedness Coalition and the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security.