H.R. 3284 amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to establish a Joint Counterterrorism Awareness Workshop Series (JCTAWS). JCTAWS brings together a wide range of first responders including law enforcement, fire, emergency medical services, and public health officials, as well as the private sector and non-governmental organizations, to prepare for, prevent against, and respond to a coordinated terrorist attack.
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Sep 14, 2017.
Joint Counterterrorism Awareness Workshop Series Act of 2017
(Sec. 2) This bill amends the Homeland Security Act to direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to establish a Joint Counterterrorism Awareness Workshop Series to address emerging terrorist threats and to enhance the ability of state and local jurisdictions to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks.
The workshop series shall include:
reviewing terrorism preparedness, response, and interdiction plans, policies, and procedures of the participating jurisdictions and identifying gaps in such plans, operational capabilities, response resources, and authorities; identifying federal, state, and local resources available to address such gaps; providing assistance to build or sustain the capabilities to close such gaps; examining the roles and responsibilities of participating agencies and respective communities in the event of a terrorist attack; improving situational awareness and information sharing among all participating agencies in the event of such an attack; and identifying and sharing best practices and lessons learned from each workshop series. FEMA shall select jurisdictions to host a workshop series from cities that have received or are receiving funding under the Urban Area Security Initiative and have requested to be considered. Individuals from state and local jurisdictions and emergency response providers in cities selected shall be eligible to participate in the series.
FEMA must report, each year for the next six years, to all participating agencies and to Congress regarding key findings or themes, lessons learned, and best practices identified.