Maryland Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. has created a state Office of Homeland Security. The Baltimore Sun reports that Ehrlich, a Republican, chose Dennis R. Schrader, a former county councilman, to run the office.
Ehrlich said he hoped to make Maryland a leader in such efforts. “They hate us,” the governor said, speaking of extremists plotting attacks on U.S. soil. “They hate the West. They hate capitalism. They hate Democracy. They hate freedom.”
The new office, he said, would provide a central location for seeking funds and setting policy. The governor announced formation of a “state-of-the-art” analysis center to collect and review Maryland data on terrorism attacks. The center, to be launched with $1.3 million in federal funds, will be at Fort Meade in Anne Arundel County and is an offshoot of an anti-terrorism task force convened by the U.S. attorney’s office after Sept. 11, 2001.
The new office comes as Ehrlich’s administration is looking to streamline state agencies and cut hundreds of millions of dollars from budgets. Schrader, 50, has worked for the University of Maryland Medical System since 1987. He has 23 years of experience as a Navy Civil Engineer Corps officer.