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Freeholder Rick Proctor earns Homeland Security Degree
from Naval Postgraduate School

Elizabeth – Union County Freeholder Rick Proctor has completed a Master of Arts Degree in Homeland Security Studies at the Naval Postgraduate School’s Center for Homeland Defense and Security.  He was among 30 applicants selected for this prestigious program in a field of 200, and he was the first seated elected official to be admitted.

“Freeholder Proctor’s extensive experience has been a valuable resource as Union County plans and prepares for large-scale emergencies, and his studies at the Naval Postgraduate School have added to his already considerable knowledge of public health and disaster planning,” said Freeholder Chairman Angel G. Estrada. “With Union County’s high population density, global transportation network, and numerous chemical facilities, emergency preparedness is a top priority.”

Freeholder Proctor, a lifelong resident of Rahway, has served on the Freeholder Board since 2002.  He is Health Officer to several Union County municipalities.

Under Freeholder Proctor’s guidance, in 2005 Union County was a key participant in TOPOFF 3. This major terrorism response drill involved top local, state, and federal officials across the metro area, along with hundreds of emergency responders.

Freeholder Proctor’s public health experience includes membership in the New Jersey Department of Health’s Public Health Preparedness and Response to Bioterrorism Task Force, the Union County Weapons of Mass Destruction Advisory Board, and the City of Rahway Local Emergency Management Council. He has published several articles on terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.

“My goal has been to integrate public health with the policies, strategies and organization involved in planning for major emergencies, including terrorism and weapons of mass destruction,” said Freeholder Proctor.

The subject of Freeholder Proctor’s thesis was the importance of conducting disaster consequence assessments as part of a regional risk management strategy.

The Naval Postgraduate School is located in California.  The 18-month Master of Arts Degree in Homeland Security is earned through a combination of on-site and distance coursework.

The mission of the Center for Homeland Defense and Security is to provide civilian and military officials with stronger anti-terrorism experience both on a theoretical and practical level, and to strengthen collaboration between government agencies.