The mission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is to ensure a homeland that is safe, secure, and resilient against terrorism and other hazards. One such way DHS safeguards this vision is through the creation of various Centers of Excellence (COEs). Sponsored by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate’s Office of University Program, each COE partners with a range of public agencies and institutions to conduct ground-breaking research that addresses homeland security issues and solves real-world challenges.
Beginning in 2002, COEs were created in order to establish a coordinated, university-based system so as to support and enhance DHS short- and long-term goals. Further, these institutions provide essential education and training for current and future homeland security professionals. Currently, there are 11 active COEs; each Center researches specific areas and topics that are relevant to homeland security. Once the research has come to a conclusion and no further developments can be made, the COE will be retired.
Recently, DHS has contacted the Center for Public Safety Management (CPSM) for its expertise: Leonard Matarese, co-founder and Principal of CPSM, was retained at the beginning of December 2016 as a peer reviewer for the newest COE. Announced in June, the new DHS Center is set to focus on Criminal Investigations and Network Analysis. Recognized as an innovator by his law enforcement colleagues and backed 47 years of experience in the field, Leonard will provide his in-depth familiarity and knowledge of law enforcement to DHS in the upcoming Request for Proposals (RFP) process for the COE. Like Leonard, each member of the team selected to review proposals for the new COE are experts in their field: law enforcement is represented alongside researchers and doctorates.
“I am honored to work with the Department of Homeland Security and selected peers on this effort,” stated Leonard. “Having served as a law enforcement officer, police chief, and a public safety director, I have spent years committed to keeping the public safe. With CPSM, I have continued this resolution, working to implement strategic plans and build relationships with all parts of the community before a crisis occurs. I look forward to reviewing potential candidates for the upcoming Center for Excellence.”
The $40 Million project will be funded by DHS for the next ten years. DHS is currently searching for an institution to lead the COE and additionally looking for potential partners to work with the lead institution in support of the Center’s activities. This project will conduct end user-focused research, enhancing investigation strategies of transnational criminal organizations’ (TCO) activities and other homeland security-related crimes. In order to better predict, thwart, and prosecute these crimes, the main goal of the new COE is to develop methods, tools, knowledge, products, and technology-based solutions for agents, officers, and investigators.