Emergency responder Matthew D. Heller, a State University of New York (SUNY) police officer at Alfred State College, recently completed a weapons of mass destruction training course at the Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston, AL.
Heller, who joined the department in 1996, was promoted to lieutenant on the University force in 2001. In this capacity, Heller is responsible for supervising the evening and night shifts of the University Police Department staff. Additionally, he serves as a field training officer and as a member of the campus bicycle patrol.
Heller holds an associate's degree in criminal justice from Finger Lakes Community College; he is a graduate of the Police Academy, Albany.
Prior to joining the Alfred State College police force, Heller served as a campus security guard at Finger Lakes Community College, Canandaigua; he was also in charge of outer security and parking for concerts at the Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center.
The CDP is operated by the US Department of Homeland Security's Office of Grants and Training and is the only federally chartered weapons of mass destruction training facility in the country. The CDP is also a member of the National Domestic Preparedness Consortium, in partnership with Louisiana State University, the Nevada Test Site, New Mexico Tech, and Texas A&M.
The CDP provides federally funded, interdisciplinary training for emergency responders from across the United States and US territories, for the following disciplines: emergency management, emergency medial service, fire service, governmental administrative, hazardous materials, health care, law enforcement public health public safety communications, and public works. Emergency responders attending training participate in advanced, hands-on all hazards training on chemical, ordnance, biological radiological, and nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Training conducted at the CDP assists the nation's emergency response community with the overwhelming task of prevention of, protection against, response to, and recovery from acts of terrorism.
Responders attending CDP training are specially selected from the nation's 11 million emergency responders. Training at the CDP ensures that responders gain critical skills and confidence to be better prepared to effectively respond to local incidents or potential WMD incidents.