Citizens and communities around the world are facing growing threats and disruptive forces impacting their wellbeing and security. Homegrown violent extremists (HVE), gangs and other criminal activity all present pressing challenges. It will take new ideas, new tools and new partnerships to develop the strategies, policies and programs that enhance community safety. This is what the Safe Communities Institute (SCI) aspires to achieve.
As a part of our renewed effort and mission, we are introducing several new SCI initiatives and plans for the future of the Institute.
On November 14, 2017, as part of a larger Sol Price School of Public Policy’s effort addressing global security, SCI hosted the USC Summit on Global Solutions in the Age of Homegrown Violent Extremism. The summit will convene counterterrorism experts, local and international city stakeholders, and nonprofit leaders to develop a more informed and engaged community. Summit attendees will leave with best practices needed to enhance public safety by detecting and deterring race, religion, and issue-oriented ideological motivations of homegrown violent extremist (HVE) radicalization and recruitment.
SCI continues to offer the Public Safety Leadership Program in the fall and spring semesters, as well as our annual Executive Leadership Program. In the spring 2018 semester, Sol Price graduate students will be able to enroll in a new course on “American Contemporary Homegrown Violent Extremism,” as well the course, “An Exploration of the Intelligence Community – From SIGINT to Cyber Espionage,” which is anticipated to be approved for the fall 2018 semester.
As a result of a successful previous research effort examining foreign fighter recruitment and radicalization in Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate has funded SCI scholars to continue researching and examining HVE radicalization and determining why people in targeted communities are resistant to terrorist recruitment messaging.
We are excited about our ongoing efforts with France, where we are offering instruction at the Université Paris II Panthéon-Assas. SCI scholars will also be collaborating with international partners for an upcoming research opportunity with the Centre Hospitalier de Saint-Cyr-au-Mont-d’Or to examine mental illness and its association with radicalization.
Looking ahead, you can subscribe to our Quarterly Newsletter to stay up to date with all of SCI’s activities, as well as insights and analysis from our SCI Fellows and other contributors. Also be sure to join us on Twitter (@SCI_USC_Price) and Facebook to contribute to the discussion.
There is much work, education, research and collaboration ahead. Join us as we move toward a new understanding of how “whole-of-community” public safety strategies, policies and programs can help us enjoy the security we all want and need.
Dr. Erroll G. Southers
Director, Safe Communities Institute