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Keeping Maryland Safe from Emerging Threats

Michael Greenberger, JD, founder and director of the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS) and professor at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, joined Governor Martin O'Malley for a Better Choices, Better Results forum held Nov. 21, in Prince George's County.

Among the nearly 200 forum attendees were Maryland cabinet secretaries, state's attorneys, and local police chiefs. O'Malley, a 1988 UM Carey Law graduate, emphasized that while homeland security may be one of the newer fields of focus in public safety, it has been one of the highest priorities during his tenure.

The forums, which O'Malley began in August 2013, bring together stakeholders from across the state to discuss strategic goals and choices made by his administration to produce results that are improving Maryland. Under OMalley's public safety goal, the Governor's Office of Homeland Security has identified 12 core capacities the state aims to achieve to improve safety and security for all Marylanders.

Greenberger noted that having worked with governments around the world, he is confident that "there isn't another jurisdiction that's been able to assemble this broad scale of accomplishments" in emergency management and homeland security. Despite the down economy, Maryland and O'Malley have found a way to "make tremendous strides."

The CHHS, an academic consulting agency with more than 50 professionals working on nearly 90 contracts in Maryland and across the world, has supported many of the emergency management, public health, and homeland security initiatives discussed at the public safety forum. CHHS staff supports Maryland's statewide interoperability efforts, facilitates exercise and training for the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services and area hospitals, completed an energy assurance plan for the Maryland Energy Administration, and routinely works with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, which was also represented on the panel.

During the remaining 16 months in his term as governor, O'Malley stressed that as new threats emerge, his administration would continue to add important objectives to the state's homeland security core capacities. One such threat is cyber crime, which O'Malley called "the new field of battle." As a member of the Commission on Maryland Cybersecurity Innovation and Excellence, Greenberger and CHHS experts are also reviewing needed cyber legislation for the 2014 Maryland General Assembly session.

Posting Date: 11/22/2013
Contact Name: Danielle Leuking
Contact Phone: 410-706-3985
Contact Email: dleuking@law.umaryland.edu