HSEM 494 Practicum/Capstone Project

Date of Award

Spring 6-21-2019

Document Type

Open Practicum Paper

Degree Name

Homeland Security, BS

College

School of Management

Department

Homeland Security & Emergency Management

Keywords

White Supremacy Extremism, Intelligence Coordination, Pacific Northwest, Violent Extremism, Hate Crimes, White Nationalism, Christian Identity Movement, Threat Mitigation

Abstract

The purpose of this practicum proposal is to address the growing threat of White Supremacy Extremism (henceforth referred to as “WSE”) in the Portland Metro region and explore the barriers to identifying WSE and obstacles with information sharing. By understanding current conditions and leaning forward with proactive and holistic approaches to education and information sharing, on a local and regional level we may be able to interrupt the cycle of proliferation and interdict future bias and hate crimes in our communities.

The Regional Disaster Preparedness Organization (RDPO) is one of several local agencies that could potentially serve as a possible venue for supporting solutions and becoming a regional platform proponent. The RDPO provides a holistic regional clearinghouse of diverse groups, leadership, and members to better work together to solve common problems with innovative solutions. The mission of the RDPO is to “build and maintain regional disaster preparedness capabilities in the Portland Metropolitan Region through strategic and coordinated planning, training and exercising, and investment in technology and specialized equipment” (RDPO, 2019).

Domestic terrorism prevention is inherently a part of any regional capability and preparedness assessment, and yet, remains an underfunded, understudied, and underutilized capability. In 2018, every single extremist killing in the United States had ties to right-wing extremism and often, by extension, WSE (Anti-Defamation League, 2019). This proposal examines the current nature of WSE and the barriers to understanding the current threat assessment. By obtaining a more accurate assessment of the real-time proliferation and threat of WSE in the Portland Metro Region, a case can be made for better educating and empowering law enforcement, the intelligence community, and first responders on recognizing and interdicting this growing threat.

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