Social Infrastructure for Hometown Security: Advancing the Homeland Security Paradigm
Kaufman, David J.
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The nation's homeland security strategy calls on federal, state, and local governments, businesses, communities and individuals across the country to work together to achieve a shared vision of a secure way of life. Yet true involvement on the part of individual citizens remains elusive, due largely to a misdiagnosis of the way the American people experience homeland security practices, inappropriate application of border screening and verification techniques to domestic public life, and an incomplete strategic preparedness framework that relies excessively on top-down federal management. This essay argues for a new approach that engages the American people in ways that invite their participation in understanding, assessing, and mitigating risk. New community-oriented techniques are needed that draw heavily on community-policing models and public health philosophies; the federal government needs to invert its strategic planning and funding processes, seizing the moment and leveraging the restructuring of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other priorities as opportunities to put communities first. The new administration has issued a national call to service. This call offers an opportunity to invest in a social infrastructure for homeland security that will bring the American people fully into strengthening their own preparedness.
This article appeared in Homeland Security Affairs (May 2009), v.5 no.2
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