Safety at the Forefront of the First Annual Law Enforcement Workshop
Vol.5 Issue 3

On April 3, 2019, the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center hosted its first Annual Law Enforcement Workshop. The purpose of the Workshop was to bring local (both State and Federal) emergency response agencies together to learn more about the Aeronautical Center and how best to respond in the event of an emergency.

Over 40 people were in attendance, including representatives from the Oklahoma City Police Department (OKCPD), the Oklahoma Department of Homeland Security (OKDHS), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office, and local Emergency Managers. There were also members present from the FAA and DOT Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

Participants from a variety of emergency response agencies were in attendance.

There is no single security standard that applies to every federal facility, and the Aeronautical Center is no exception. The vast and diverse nature of our facility would require emergency response from a variety of agencies. The Workshop provided an open forum to allow participants to discuss how to ensure safety and security of the Center in a collaborative way. While many participants at the Workshop have already worked and trained together, there were many others that were meeting for the first time. According to Tricia Brace, the Aeronautical Center’s Emergency Readiness Officer, “This workshop was an opportunity for critical staff at the Center to meet our law enforcement partners and to collaborate and discuss ideas on roles, best practices, protocols, resources, and lines of communication. As a federal facility within a local jurisdiction, many different law enforcement agencies may have a role in security protection and emergency response at this Center.”

One of the guest speakers was Kim Edd Carter, Director of the Department of Homeland Security.
(Far right) Kevin O’Connor, Deputy Director of the Aeronautical Center converses with law enforcement officials.

Participants on the agenda covered a wide range of subjects, while sharing both their technical experience and institutional knowledge. Presenters included: Kevin O’Connor, Deputy Director, Aeronautical Center; Corey Black, Program Director, Office of Facility Management; Tricia Brace, Emergency Readiness Officer at the Aeronautical Center; Wade Gourley, Deputy Chief of the Oklahoma City Police Department; Matthew Washburn, FAA Security and Hazardous Materials Special Agent; R. Eric Gragg and Howard James, DOT OIG Special Agents; Kevin Katz, FBI Special Agent; Kim Edd Carter, OK Department of Homeland Security Director; and Ricardo Figueiras, FAA Emergency Notification System Program Office Technical Writer/Trainer.

(L-R) Deputy Chief Gourley of the Oklahoma City Police Department, with Kevin O’Connor, Deputy Director of the Aeronautical Center and Corey Black, Director of the Office of Facility Management.

Deputy Chief Gourley of OKCPD expressed his gratitude for “…the opportunity to visit the Center and gain a better appreciation of the resources at MMAC.” Kim Edd Carter stated, “The FAA should be utilizing the National Incident Management System as well as training and exercising with law enforcement to ensure everyone is using the same language and following the same response system.” According to Kevin Katz, “…the Oklahoma FBI office is close by and prepared to work with all branches of law enforcement.” Ricardo Figueiras gave a presentation on the Ad Hoc Emergency Notification System (ENS) and discussed different partnering opportunities and the capabilities of ENS that could support law enforcement. Everyone agreed that follow-up actions would include a tabletop exercise so all representatives can come together again in an exercise format.

The workshop reminded everyone that law enforcement collaboration at the federal, state, local, tribal, territorial, and campus levels is essential to MMAC’s domestic defense against terrorism and our broader, shared mission of protecting our communities from all threats.

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