While the mission of protecting and serving has remained the same, the threats to public safety have evolved. After September 11, our nation put itself on high alert to protect us from terrorism. But after Huricane Katrina, it became obvious that disaster can strike us from any direction and we need to be able to address all hazards. From 2005-2009, the State of Missouri alone experienced twenty federally-declared disasters. Other midwestern states were turned upside down by a similar number of disasters. The lesson learned by many of the incident commanders was there is an alarming lack of expertise in emergency
According to the Homeland Security National Response Framework (NRF), effective preparedness is a critical precondition for a successful reponse to an attack or disaster. A key element of the NRF is to encourage a higher level of readiness by drawing a sharper focus on communities being able to plan, organize, train, equip and apply new tactics based on lessons learned. Many communities - large and small - face tightening budgets, which limits their ability to launch the large-scale, holistic training programs they need to be prepared.
Metropolitan Community College is proposing a solution to this dilemma. By transforming our existing facilities at the MCC-Blue River Public Safety Institute into a high-risk attack and disaster training center, we will be able to increase the breadth and depth of training options available to federal law enforcement, local and regional governments, emergency managers and private businesses.