Beyond Flash Points: Creating Sustainable Public-Private Partnerships in Chicago

The United States today is confronted by an increasingly complex domestic security environment which is characterized by physical and virtual threats to public safety. Many of these threats are targeting privately-owned, soft targets with greater frequency and, at times, lethality. Accordingly, to effectively manage these threats law enforcement, homeland security, and private sector leaders must improve their ability to leverage each other’s unique capabilities, resources, and expertise. This can be accomplished by creating more robust, mutually-beneficial, and responsive public-private partnerships (PPPs).

Frequently, public-private interaction is episodic and transactional—often taking place in response to a public safety crisis. Yet, in today’s ever-changing threat environment it is important to develop partnerships that allow public safety and business leaders to move “left of boom”. To this end, Members of Business Executives for National Security’s (BENS) Chicago region have collaborated with officials from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Secret Service, and Chicago Police Department to develop a compelling, value-driven business case for participation in a PPP that may engender more robust private sector engagement and strengthen public-private collaboration between crises.

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