Report from Washington: How East Alabama Helps Secure Our Homeland

Sep 27, 2018
(WASHINGTON, D.C) – Recently, I led a group of local leaders in Calhoun County, including Alabama Senate President pro tempore, Del Marsh, to visit and tour the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston.
 
While the CDP has a huge local economic impact, it is so much more.
 
Since 1998, the CDP has trained over a million first responders.  Folks come from all over the world to train at this world-class facility. The CDP is funded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
 
I have served on the House Committee on Homeland Security since it was formed in 2005.  I have long supported the CDP and its mission, and now am working to help spread awareness of their work both locally and globally.
 
It’s no secret that we live in a dangerous world, and the CDP provides live agent and biochemical training to  first responders.  The facility also has mock scenes created on-site – from a subway to an earthquake to a hospital –so that different variations of training on different levels can be experienced.
 
It’s one of a kind and it is right here in our backyard.
 
Another great national security asset we have right here in our backyard is our canine programs.
 
I was thrilled this week to see the text of my canine legislation pass the House of Representatives.  
 
H.R. 4577, the Domestic Explosive Detection Canine Capacity Building Act, was included in the FAA reauthorization bill.
 
My bill would increase the number of working dogs bred and trained in America versus purchasing the majority of our working dogs from Europe.  I support American dogs protecting Americans and I support the private sector being a full partner in our security.
 
The canines used in the transportation sector – from train stations to airports – are not only the most cost-effective, but also the most efficient option to detect explosives.  They are more proficient than any machine on the market.
 
I have always been and will continue to be an advocate for the increased use of canines to protect our homeland.
 
I was also happy to have my language updating the Screening Partnership Program (SPP) passed the House as well. It will allow airports more flexibility when dealing with TSA and even allow them to choose private screeners with new technology and innovations to better enhance security of passengers.