A balanced approach to funding homeland security
Kral, Steven G.
Lewis, Ted G.
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State and local funds are currently inadequate for completely securing local infrastructures. This thesis poses a solution to the funding issues by looking at the problem from two perspectives: risk assessment methodology and civic involvement. Risk assessment reduces the need for funding by funding the highest risk return on investment assets only. It is the foundation for determining the funding and resources required for hazard mitigation; however, the current risk methodology used by the Department of Homeland Security, Threat and Hazard Identification Risk Assessment, is flawed because it lacks adequate rigor and does not incorporate a major goal in measuring effectiveness—return on investment. Citizen involvement may provide an alternative source of funding through crowdsourcing, rather than taxation. Involving citizens in making decisions about resources and raising capital for security measures provides a viable alternative to federal funding and supports public desire to play a role against terrorism. But in order to make such a shift in expectations attainable, citizens must have the trust and transparency that is fostered through accurate assessments, communication, engagement, and reporting. This thesis evaluates the current risk methodology and its shortcomings and proposes a more rigorous approach based on in-depth, holistic risk analysis to reduce vulnerabilities within a vast network of critical infrastructure assets, and proposes crowdsourcing, crowdfunding, and bonding as alternatives to traditional federal government grant funding.
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