By Sandy Moul | President, InfraGard San Diego Members Alliance
In 2015, the InfraGard San Diego Members Alliance proudly celebrated two historic milestones: our 10-year anniversary and the surpassing of the 1,000-member mark. While these accomplishments are a source of tremendous pride for our IMA, they also underscore the levels of vigilance, commitment and collaboration required to address the threat landscape of the next decade.
True to the FBI’s intent upon founding the program, InfraGard remains a highly unique and powerful solution to engaging the private sector in the protection of America’s critical infrastructure. Unlike any other organization in the world, InfraGard has limitless potential to educate, inform and engage the full spectrum of stakeholders in safeguarding the United States and its citizens. In 2016, our IMA identified three primary focus areas for fostering knowledge-sharing at the epicenter of San Diego’s most critical resources: partnerships, programs, and sector development.
Partnership for Protection
The InfraGard National Members Alliance (INMA) tagline, “Partnership for Protection,” is indicative of the successes that can be achieved when like-minded organizations work together for the greater good. Our IMA is fortunate to have an incredibly strong foundation in the FBI San Diego Field Office and our FBI InfraGard Coordinator Parker Scott. Their full support sets the tone for a phrase that we often use to describe our chapter’s mindset: “The sky’s the limit.”
InfraGard San Diego also maintains partnerships with nonprofits, universities and government agencies, the most notable being the San Diego Law Enforcement Coordination Center (SD-LECC), the regional Department of Homeland Security-recognized fusion center. This longstanding partnership, first established in 2014 under a memorandum of understanding (MOU), has been instrumental in our efforts to mitigate criminal and terrorist threats. Our members are given access to countless briefings and training courses that would otherwise be unavailable. The Infrastructure Liaison Officer (ILO) course alone has graduated over 300 individuals who now have better awareness of critical infrastructure threats. Additionally, chapter members have contributed numerous tips and leads involving suspicious activities in the San Diego area and served as subject matter experts for the SD-LECC on critical infrastructure projects.
In the summer of 2016, the current MOU was expanded into a groundbreaking three-way partnership between InfraGard San Diego, the SD-LECC and the City of San Diego’s Office of Homeland Security (SDOHS). We believe this MOU is one of the first of its kind in the nation, linking the resources of three major stakeholders to improve regional safety and security. InfraGard San Diego appreciates the dedicated efforts of our partners, including: Leslie Gardner, Executive Director, SD-LECC; Matthew Miller, Private Sector Programs Manager, SD-LECC; John Valencia, Director, OHS; and Tiffany Vinson, Homeland Security Coordinator, OHS. The partnership has limitless potential and will be explored further during a panel discussion at the INMA 20th Anniversary Congress in Orlando.