Col­lege Park to house acad­emy

Joint se­cu­rity pro­gram is es­tab­lished to help lure FBI head­quar­ters to Mary­land

Baltimore Sun - - NEWS - By John Fritze Bal­ti­more Sun re­porters Erin Cox and Tim Pru­dente con­trib­uted to this ar­ti­cle. tpru­dente@balt­sun.com

The Univer­sity of Mary­land, Col­lege Park and the Univer­sity of Mary­land, Bal­ti­more an­nounced de­tails Tues­day of a joint na­tional se­cu­rity acad­emy.

Of­fi­cials said the acad­emy, which would be lo­cated in Col­lege Park, will en­able them to ex­pand their cur­rent pro­grams in cy­ber­se­cu­rity, law, crim­i­nol­ogy and coun­tert­er­ror­ism.

It’s part of a larger ef­fort by state of­fi­cials to lure the FBI’s new head­quar­ters to Mary­land.

Mary­land of­fi­cials have been work­ing for years to land the head­quar­ters in Prince Ge­orge’s County — an ef­fort that has pit­ted the state against neigh­bor­ing Vir­ginia, which also wants the de­vel­op­ment.

Mary­land has ar­gued that the FBI would ben­e­fit from be­ing in prox­im­ity to ed­u­ca­tional in­sti­tu­tions aligned with its mis­sion.

The FBI is head­quar­tered in the J. Edgar Hoover Build­ing in down­town Washington. The build­ing can no longer ac­com­mo­date the agency’s work — which is now scat­tered in satel­lite of­fices through­out the re­gion — and is in need of sig­nif­i­cant re­pair.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion is con­sid­er­ing three sites: Green­belt, Lan­dover and Fair­fax County, Va. The Gen­eral Ser­vices Ad­min­is­tra­tion, which is over­see­ing the project, re­ceived an un­known num­ber of pro­pos­als from de­vel­op­ers ear­lier this sum­mer.

The de­vel­op­ment would al­most cer­tainly have some eco­nomic im­pact on Prince Ge­orge’s County, even though many FBI em­ploy­ees al­ready live in Mary­land. On Tues­day, elected of­fi­cials stressed the idea that the im­pact could be felt be­yond Washington’s sub­urbs.

“This ben­e­fits the en­tire state,” said House Speaker Michael E. Busch, an Anne Arun­del County Demo­crat.

Other lo­cal of­fi­cials at­tend­ing the event Tues­day in­cluded state Sen. Paul G. Pin­sky, a Prince Ge­orge’s County Demo­crat, and Howard County Ex­ec­u­tive Al­lan H. Kit­tle­man, a Repub­li­can.

In June, Repub­li­can Gov. Larry Ho­gan of­fered $317 mil­lion in in­fra­struc­ture and traf­fic im­prove­ments to ac­com­mo­date a new head­quar­ters in Green­belt. He of­fered $255 mil­lion for the Lan­dover site, which would re­quire fewer im­prove­ments.

Of­fi­cials said the part­ner­ship would com­bine Col­lege Park’s ex­per­tise in crim­i­nol­ogy and coun­tert­er­ror­ism and the Bal­ti­more school’s spe­cial­ties in law, cy­ber­se­cu­rity and tech­nol­ogy.

The acad­emy, which would be lo­cated on the Col­lege Park cam­pus, would also of­fer in­struc­tion to FBI agents, fa­cil­i­tate in­tern­ships for stu­dents, and fos­ter re­search be­tween stu­dents and pro­fes­sion­als.

Mary­land’s con­gres­sional del­e­ga­tion has been push­ing for the project since at least 2012.

“From prox­im­ity to Washington and tran­sit con­nec­tions to world-class in­sti­tu­tions of re­search and higher ed­u­ca­tion and pre­mier cy­ber se­cu­rity and de­fense fa­cil­i­ties, there is no doubt that Mary­land has the two best sites for the FBI’s new, con­sol­i­dated head­quar­ters,” the seven Demo­cratic mem­bers of the state’s del­e­ga­tion to the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives said in a state­ment.

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