Keeping America Safe

Keeping America Safe

A Recognized Leader In Homeland Security

Since 9/11, Governor O’Malley has been recognized as a national leader on homeland security and public safety issues. He has led nation-wide homeland security efforts as an advocate, exemplar of best practices, and adviser to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Governor O’Malley considers protecting the homeland the foremost responsibility of those in public service.

• As mayor of Baltimore, Governor O’Malley was selected by his fellow mayors to co-chair the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Homeland Security Task Force.
• As Governor of Maryland, O’Malley was selected by his fellow governors to co-chair the National Governors Association’s Special Committee on Homeland Security and Public Safety.
• The Obama Administration selected Governor O’Malley to serve as a key external adviser on the U.S. Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC). As an HSAC member, Governor O’Malley was selected to chair Task Forces on Violent Extremism and Community Resilience.
• Governor O’Malley has been a national advocate for homeland security support and resources, delivering addressees on homeland security at the Democratic Leadership Council, National Press Club, Democratic National Convention, and the Center for National Policy, among others, and testifying before the U.S. Congress.
• Governor O’Malley has worked as an author and partner with renowned homeland security experts such as Richard Clarke, Gary Hart, and Stephen Flynn.

Adopting An “All Crimes And All Hazards” Approach To Homeland Security

As Governor, O’Malley adopted an “all crimes and all hazards” approach to develop core capacities for a wide variety of law enforcement and homeland security applications. The technology he deployed to identify license plates, for example, was capable of tracking down terrorist suspects and seniors with Alzheimer’s. Governor O’Malley also deployed inter-operable radio communications for first responders statewide, for use during hurricanes and possible terrorist attacks.

A Record Of Real Results:

USA Today: Security experts held up Baltimore as “a model of preparedness.”
• Maryland earned a top ranking from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for states best prepared to respond to an emergency.
• The Port of Baltimore received an “excellent” security assessment from the Coast Guard for six consecutive years.
Maryland earned a perfect 100 from the Center for Disease Control And Prevention’s annual review of public health emergency preparedness, up from a score of 67 in 2008. [Link]

Challenging the Federal Government to Fulfill Its Homeland Security Obligations

The federal government’s mandate is to “provide for the common defense.” As Co-Chair of the U.S. Conference of Mayors’ Homeland Security Task Force, O’Malley pressed federal officials to fully fund that mandate in order to keep America safe. He represented the mayors of all American cities in a speech at the National Press Club, he pointed out that each level of government had its own role to play in securing the homeland. While the Bush Administration cut block grants for homeland security, Mayor O’Malley stood up and challenged the federal government to fulfill its mandate for the common defense.

Developing the Nation’s Cyber Security

This year, the United States was the victim of the worst cyber attacks in our history. A new agenda is urgently needed to improve our nation’s cybersecurity. Since the data cyberattackers target does not reside completely in the public or private sector, this new threat will require a collaborative and networked approach. Investing more resources in cybersecurity is an economic and national security priority. Our servers, information networks, and personal devices now exist on digital battlefields, with real-world consequences. The federal government should support coordinated efforts with financial and technical assistance to help states fulfill their commitments to strengthen cybersecurity.

Read Governor O’Malley’s op-ed on Cybersecurity.

Developing 12 Core Homeland Security Goals For Maryland

Twelve “core capacities” make up the foundation of Maryland’s homeland security infrastructure. They are critical for effectively responding to large-scale natural or manmade emergencies, and also have “dual use, daily use” value. These goals originated under then-Mayor O’Malley in 2002, and were broadened in 2007 to reflect statewide priorities. The goals were expanded further during O’Malley’s tenure as Governor to incorporate new technologies, including cybersecurity and license plate readers. The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security applied performance-based “Homeland Security Stat” metrics to each of the 12 goals and discussed the data at monthly meetings to ensure progress.

Goal 1: Interoperable Communications

  • Radio Interoperability. Initiated construction of MD FIRST, Maryland’s first statewide interoperable radio system, now providing interoperable radio coverage over 55 percent of the State’s population.
  • CAD/RMS. Built Maryland’s first statewide interoperable CAD/RMS network, with all 22 Maryland State Police Barracks, the Natural Resources Police (NRP), the Maryland Transit Administration Police, and the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) dispatch centers.
  • GIS Common Operating Picture. Built OSPREY, a map-based GIS common operating picture enabling first responders to seamlessly share critical static and dynamic emergency management information in real-time.

Goal 2: Intelligence/Information Sharing

  • State Fusion Center. Governor O’Malley’s reforms to Maryland’s fusion center received back-to-back perfect scores of “100” on DHS’s national fusion center assessment in 2013 and 2014.
  • License Plate Reader Network. Governor O’Malley invested millions in resources to increase Maryland’s LPR network to 415 readers, almost 80 percent of which are networked into a central database. He also signed legislation to protect privacy and limit LPR use to only legitimate law enforcement purposes.

Goal 3: HAZ MAT/Explosive Device Response

  • Statewide coverage, rapid response, and upgraded equipment. Thanks to Governor O’Malley’s leadership, Maryland has a Type I HazMat and Bomb Squad available in every region in the state. They respond to 95 percent of incidents within one hour, which is four times faster than the national minimum standard. He also provided millions in new equipment for IEDs, including an entirely new maritime team.
  • Statewide Preventive Radiological and Nuclear Detection (PRND) program. Governor O’Malley created a new nationally recognized PRND program with participants from more than 80 federal, state and local first responder agencies. Maryland became the first state in the nation to sign an MOU with the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration to improve detection, prevention and response.

Goal 4: Personal Protective Equipment for First Responders

  • PPE for First Responders. Governor O’Malley provided more than 2,000 full sets of interoperable PPE (chemical suit, air mask, and other equipment) so every Maryland state tactical and patrol officer in the five largest police agencies could protect themselves and assist the public during a WMD attack or pandemic.

Goal 5: Biosurveillance

  • ESSENCE. Expanded the state’s biosurviellance system from 17 to all 46 acute care hospitals; absentee data from all 24 Maryland public school systems; and real-time over-the-counter drug sales data from more than 300 pharmacies in all 24 counties.

Goal 6: Critical Infrastructure Protection and Cyber Security

  • Employee Cyber Security Training. Launched a statewide cyber security training program for more than 43,000 state employees and achieved a 90 percent completion of monthly training modules.
  • Agency Vulnerability Assessments. Created the position of Cyber Security Director and initiated cyber vulnerability assessments of all major state agencies to protect citizens’ personal information.

Goal 7: Training and Exercises

  • Preparedness Exercises. Established one of the nation’s most aggressive programs with quarterly exercises on hazards from hurricanes to cyber attacks, and rebuilt MEMA’s after-action program, identifying and following through on almost 150 specific corrective-action items for large events such as Hurricane Sandy.

Goal 8: Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

  • MVIEW. Created MVIEW, a common operating platform for CCTV accessible at command centers and in the field on tablets and smartphones. MVIEW increased the number of traffic, security, and vehicle-based cameras ten fold and increased state users to 1,676 in 2014, networking previously incompatible systems.

Goal 9: Mass Casualty/Hospital Surge

  • Health Preparedness. Received a perfect score of 100 in public health preparedness from CDC’s annual assessment for three years in a row, increasing from a score of only 67 in 2008.

Goal 10: Planning

  • Completely reformed statewide emergency planning. Beginning with an agency with no planning branch, Governor O’Malley reestablished a planning unit in MEMA and created a framework for coordinating and organizing state emergency response plans. He also completed a top-to-bottom review, developed a Mass Care Shelter Plan, and received accreditation from the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP).
  • State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) Renovation. Governor O’Malley completely reformed emergency operations by investing more than $2 million to create a state-of-the-art SEOC with updated technology, a new layout to facilitate communication, and an innovative video wall displaying MVIEW, Maryland’s CCTV network.

Goal 11: Backup Power and Communications

  • Improved backup power resources and situational awareness. Governor O’Malley created a comprehensive inventory of state and local backup power generators for emergency managers, a real-time publicly available power outage map, and passed rules to require new school construction to include backup power to increase the number of local shelters with backup power.
  • Backup Microwave Communications. Installed 168 Digital Emergency Medical Services Telephones (DEMSTEL), or Voice over internet protocol (VoIP) communications, to provide backup communications between critical facilities such as hospitals, health departments, police barracks, and 911 call centers.

Goal 12: Transportation Security

  • Nation-leading Port Security. Governor O’Malley transforming the Port of Baltimore from a laughing stock to a national model with 523 networked CCTV cameras and an upgraded security system. The Port received near-perfect scores for the seventh year in a row since 2008 on the U.S. Coast Guard’s security assessment, and won Government Security News’ award for “Most Notable Seaport Security Program.”
  • Nation-leading Airport Security. Governor O’Malley completed a new $5.2 million CCTV system and a consolidated police dispatch center, winning awards from Government Security News for “Most Notable Airport Security Program” and “Best Physical Security Information Management System.”
  • Comprehensive radar and CCTV coverage of the Bay for Security and Conservation. Governor O’Malley created the Maritime Law Enforcement Information Network (MLEIN), a comprehensive radar-based surveillance system of the Chesapeake Bay to manage security and natural resource conservation and provide shared situational awareness through 13 radar towers and eight long-range CCTV cameras, detecting vessel movements within the Bay and nearby tributaries, covering more than 1,200 square miles. MLEIN has been cited in Maryland courts to prove illegal oyster sanctuary violations and was recognized with an award for Innovations in Public Service by the Maryland Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration.
  • Common Platforms for Public Safety. A core strategy of Maryland’s homeland security program has been the development of common operating platforms for public safety officials. Under Governor O’Malley’s leadership, Maryland has unified previously incompatible systems and created a common platform where none previously existed for radio (MD First), law enforcement dispatch and records (CAD/RMS), emergency management and homeland security situational awareness (OSPREY), CCTV (MVIEW), biosurrivelance (ESSENCE), license plate readers (LPRs), and maritime security (MLEIN).

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