Expert on Homeland Security to Speak at MCCC Oct. 7


Richard L. Cañas, director of the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (OHSP), will discuss "Homeland Security Matters in New Jersey" on Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 12 noon at Mercer County Community College. Presented as part of the college's 2008 Distinguished Lecture Series, this free talk takes place in the Communications Building, Room 107, on the West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

"Director Cañas has a very important leadership responsibility," observes Dr. Peter Horne, coordinator of MCCC's Criminal Justice Program. "In the seven years since the attacks of 9/11, homeland security remains as crucial as ever. OHSP's mission is not only to keep New Jersey safe from terrorism, but also to protect citizens from such catastrophic events as hurricanes, floods and plane crashes."

NJ Homeland Security and Preparedness
Director Richard Canas

Before assuming his current post, Cañas was a director at the nonprofit Concurrent Technologies Corporation, a national security consulting firm based in Johnstown, PA. Previously, he spent 34 years in law enforcement, intelligence, counter terrorism and policy making at the national level. He served as director of the National Drug Intelligence Center and was the special agent in charge of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA) Divisional Office in Phoenix, AZ. As part of the DEA, he served on the National Security Council as director for Counternarcotics for the G.H.W. Bush administration and later as director for Counterterrorism and Counternarcotics under the Clinton administration. He also served as a special assistant to the Latin American section of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Cañas began his public service career as a patrolman and detective. He earned a bachelor's degree in Law Enforcement Administration from California State University at San Jose and teaching credentials from the University of California at Berkeley.

Mercer's Criminal Justice Program focuses on two areas of concentration: Law Enforcement and Corrections. Graduates from the program earn an associate in science degree and are prepared for careers in criminal justice and for transfer to four-year institutions.

To learn more about upcoming lectures at Mercer County Community College, click here or call 609-570-3324.

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