Local News

Homeland Security to open two Triangle centers

Posted September 2, 2008 1:45 p.m. EDT
Updated September 3, 2008 9:05 a.m. EDT

— The U.S. Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday announced the creation of two centers in the Triangle to study the psychology behind terrorist attacks and to examine natural disasters.

A $7.5 million federal grant will initially fund the Institute for Homeland Security Solutions in Research Triangle Park, which will study the human aspects of attacks, such as the psychology of terrorists and how people react in the aftermath of a tragedy or disaster.

Consulting and research firm RTI International, Duke University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the North Carolina Military Foundation will participate in the center.

"I'm confident the department will be well served and our national security will be well served by the work done through this institute," said 4th District Congressman David Price, who helped secure the grant. "We are going to have a more safe and secure country."

Homeland Security officials also announced a center at UNC to study natural disasters, such as Hurricane Gustav.

"Can we reduce the intensity of a hurricane before it strikes the shore? Is it possible in the future to steer a hurricane?" said Jay Cohen, undersecretary for Homeland Security.

UNC researchers will get at least $2.5 million a year over the next six years for the center.

"I think they are a mutually reinforcing effort that will combine to make the Triangle of North Carolina a real center for homeland security research in this country," Price said.