Hawai‘i One of Eight States Joining the Governors Homeland Security Advisors Council (GHSAC) Executive CommitteePosted on Feb 28, 2023 in Main
Frank Pace serves as the Administrator of the Office of Homeland Security, overseeing planning and operations, grants management, the Hawai‘i State Fusion Center, and statewide interoperable communications. During his tenure, Pace led the development and implementation of the State Homeland Security Strategy, Targeted Violence Prevention Strategy, and is charged with leading Hawai‘i’s cybersecurity efforts and initiatives to address malign foreign influence. Most recently, Pace championed coordination between the City and County of Honolulu, FEMA Grants Programs, and the Hawai‘i congressional delegation to address concerns with recent changes to the FEMA risk methodology.
Pace’s connection to the region also includes military service as a law enforcement advisor, antiterrorism planner, and in military intelligence working with foreign nation partners throughout the U.S. INDOPACOM Area of Responsibility while assigned to U.S. Marine Corps Forces Pacific and the Hawai‘i Army National Guard. He is a 13-year resident, including intervals living out-of-state, who resides with his family on O‘ahu. The mission of the council is to act as a forum that brings together the governors’ principal homeland security advisors and to provide a unified voice for states to inform and shape national homeland security policy. Administrator Pace’s role will be part of a group that will keep all governors apprised of current environmental threats; the impacts of federal homeland security legislation, regulations, and policies on states; and share best practices, identifying emerging issues and reviewing and analyzing the impacts of federal homeland security activities on states.
Congratulations, Administrator Pace!
HOMELAND SECURITY – WORKING FOR HAWAI‘I AT THE COMMUNITY LEVEL
Hawai‘i’s strategic location gives the state a seat at the national table of states sharing information about foreign and interstate security threats. However, the Office of Homeland Security (OHS) also plays a crucial role here at home. Communities as bustling as Downtown Honolulu, as quiet as places between Hilo and Kailua-Kona, or as remote as those on Moloka‘i, are all able to benefit from the programs developed by the OHS, which is attached to the State Department of Defense.
State and federal tax dollars are spent here in our communities, not just on the latest equipment used by the military. According to OHS Administrator Frank Pace, the funds are distributed equitably throughout the islands, implying that the usual ‘who you know’ is not in play. Rather, the goals of education and training and size of the entity needing that training are the criteria. “We are here to protect our keiki, families, and kūpuna,” Pace said.
Threats to safety and security can come from within a community whether at home, at school, at a house of worship, or in the workplace. The best defense is proactive preparation, with plans developed by Homeland Security. Among the guidelines of the OHS are observational assessments of mental health in the hopes of helping troubled individuals before they create a danger to others. Teachers, mental health professionals, and local law enforcement are the moving parts that create an unseen but important safety net.
Pace observed that unlike in many mainland municipalities, many Hawai‘i residents have a personal connection, or lack a negative experience with public servants. “There is a presence and a relationship,” he said, and in doing so summed up the state focused goals of his division.