Homeland Security Department funding bill passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee

The Homeland Security Department funding bill that was passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on July 18 is expected to provide agencies the money necessary for hiring and training more men and women to serve the nation. Fierce Homeland Security reported that Customs and Border Protection is expected to be able to hire 1,850 new officers during the 2014 fiscal year. The bill would provide Customs and Border Protection $12.424 billion – slightly less than the $12.9 billion that President Barack Obama requested.

Bill receives support by many
"From Hurricane Sandy to the Boston Marathon bombings, we have been reminded during the last year that we must remain vigilant and prepared for both natural and man-made disasters and other threats to our homeland. The investments made today will determine the outcomes we experience tomorrow," said Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Department of Homeland Security, according to the press release. "This bill makes those critical investments, as well as restoring critical funding for the Coast Guard that the administration proposed to cut in its budget request. These cuts would have severely hampered the replacement of the service's aging assets – which has already been delayed for too long – and threatened the lifesaving, law enforcement, border security, and other missions that depend upon them."

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee approved a fiscal year budget for $46.6 billion for 2014 – a reduction of $493 million from the previous year.

"The Homeland Security bill provides $1.5 billion in much-needed funding to help State and local first responders prepare for and respond to all hazards and emergencies, from terrorism to natural disasters. I'm proud that this bill sustains this critical funding for preparedness grants to support training and exercises that are critical to success when we must respond to incidents like the Boston bombings," said Landrieu. "These grants also support port security and transit security. And we provide $675 million for Firefighter Assistance Grants that support our fire departments, so they can replace worn equipment and hire new fire fighters."

Data and training automation processing benefits agencies
The new hires for border patrol are expected to help keep the nation safe. However, training will be required for the new hires – significantly increasing the operational tempo at the Border Patrol academies in Artesia, NM and Charleston, SC. 

Recent investments by Customs and Border Protection in training automation software will play a key role in managing the influx of new agents, allowing the Border Patrol to effectively manage the logistical challenges posed by rapid growth. Last year, CBP upgraded its training software to the Acadis Readiness Suite, which is allowing the department to streamline agent training and certification processes. The Acadis enterprise system automates daily training workflows such as registration, testing, scheduling and student tracking so that leaders and instructors can spend more time working directly with recruits. When high risk training organizations like the Border Patrol need to scale operations, the adoption of the right software solution allows for greater process efficiency and can significantly decrease training costs.

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