AREA MARITIME SECURITY COMMITTEES AND THE MARITIME TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM
Brown, Shannon A.
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The purpose of this thesis was to explore the modern threats to the maritime homeland security environment and the effectiveness of Area Maritime Security Committees (AMSCs) in preventing and responding to transportation security incidents. AMSCs are deliberately designed to encompass senior representatives of numerous stakeholders in the maritime homeland security enterprise, such as law enforcement, fire, industry, and labor. There were two research questions used in this project: What are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the effectiveness of AMSCs, and how can AMSCs improve their interagency collaboration to enhance the homeland security enterprise? Two rounds of Delphi surveys were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of AMSCs. These were issued to 24 people from five Captain of the Port Zones across the West Coast of the United States. The survey answers were then evaluated against open-source reports produced by AMSCs. Between these research sources, AMSCs were shown to be positive collaboration and information-sharing mechanisms, but geography creates barriers to participation and effectiveness. In order to improve, AMSCs must increase funding, change policy to fund the travel and training of AMSC members, recruit and provide engaging training for new personnel, and establish metrics of performance. On the national level, all AMSCs should target and monitor common threats to better secure the maritime transportation system.
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