In the spring of 2004, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) designated five homeland security planning regions within the commonwealth to be the recipients of federal homeland security funding from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). They appointed multi-disciplinary and multi-jurisdictional advisory councils to each of the regions and tasked them with the development of regional homeland security plans and oversight of grant program expenditures. Each region receives an annual allocation of Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) funding to build, sustain, and deliver the Core Capabilities of emergency preparedness defined in the National Preparedness Goal.
The Northeast Homeland Security Planning Region contains 85 communities stretching from Ashby in the Northwest to Salisbury on the Northeastern coastal border with New Hampshire and Holliston in the Southwest. The region skirts the immediate urban, inner core of metro-Boston but also includes communities such as Arlington, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Saugus, and Watertown, which are immediately outside of the urban inner core. In the Northeast Region there are 2,193,308 people (877,084 housing units) in 1,310 square miles for an average population density of 1,674 people per square mile.
The Council is responsible for enhancing the ability of the region to prevent, protect against, mitigate, respond to, and recover from acts of terror and other disasters that affect the safety of the public by carrying out the strategies and objectives defined by the Massachusetts State Homeland Security Strategy and the National Preparedness Goal. The Council also serves as a forum to promote regional, interdisciplinary collaboration and idea sharing that makes public safety efforts more efficient and effective.
The NERAC newsletter is intended to provide stakeholders and other interested individuals with up-to-date information on recent NERAC funded projects and events. Newsletters are now published quarterly in order to share the many exercises and initiatives that NERAC supports to enhance the security of the northeast region of Massachusetts.