LIU to Receive Security Training Dollars
Long Island University's Homeland Security Management Institute is one of six universities designated by Congress to share in $18 million annually over the next four years to create a National Transportation Security Center of Excellence.
LIU is to be part of a consortium of universities developing security training and educational programs for transportation employees and conducting research in the field. The other institutions are Texas Southern University in Houston; the National Transit Institute at Rutgers University in New Jersey; Tougaloo College in Mississippi; The Connecticut Transportation Institute at the University of Connecticut; and the Mack-Blackwell National Rural Transportation Study Center at the University of Arkansas.
"We now have an institution of higher learning in the forefront of educating first responders, helping to formulate transportation counter-terrorism ... focusing attention on Long Island and on the New York region and will give us, I believe, more influence when it comes to future grants because we will have the experts here," said Rep. Peter King (R-Seaford) who along with Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-New York) championed LIU's inclusion for the appropriation.
Schumer said in a separate interview Tuesday that he envisioned LIU's participation in the project would be a catalyst that could "well create a whole lot of jobs on Long Island because it'll spin off companies. When you have centers of excellence, companies that want to train workers, do technology for workers, tend to locate there."
"We're all still waiting on the fine print of when the money comes," said Vincent Henry, director of LIU's Homeland Security Management Institute. Henry, a former Fulbright Scholar and 20-year veteran of the New York Police Department who ran its special projects unit until he retired in 2002, added, "We're building up now in preparation of a major kick-off. I'm not sure when the appropriation will come in, but we'll be doing things this fall in line with this designation as a center of excellence ... such as adding a third full-time faculty member, developing necessary courses, doing needs analysis" in the transportation industry.
LIU already is considered a leader in advanced homeland security management training, with its certificate program begun in 2005 and its master's degree level program started last fall. Both are online degree programs and draw on 10 "senior fellows," highly-regarded law enforcement experts, which LIU's Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeffrey Kane said makes for a program with "very strong governmental ties" with law enforcement as faculty and students.
LIU master's degree program in homeland security management is believed to be the first in the state and one of only a few in the nation.