By Associated Press - Wednesday, November 19, 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Officials have announced plans to launch a national center for homeland security law and policy at an Oklahoma law school.

The Oklahoma City University’s School of Law will be home to the new Judge Alfred P. Murrah Center for Homeland Security Law and Policy. Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb called the center a noble effort that will be historic and impactful.

“This will be a one-of-a-kind center that will be a national resource for legal analysis and policy for our country’s homeland security issues, especially in regard to domestic terrorism,” Lamb said Tuesday at a news conference.

Former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating and Joe Whitley, a former general counsel of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will chair the center’s advisory board.

The center’s formal launch will be in April in conjunction with the 20th anniversary of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. Events will include a memorial ceremony and a conference on homeland security.

Executive director Kari Watkins of the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum said the new center honors those affected by the bombing and those who rebuilt Oklahoma City.

“Because of this event in our history and the way in which our city has rebuilt in these two decades since, we are uniquely positioned to help our nation and members of the private sector confront these issues,” said Josh Snavely, dean for advancement and external relations at the law school.

Director Kim Carter of the state Office of Homeland Security said homeland security is an emerging discipline dealing with new issues, like extremists using social media.

“Some of the things these folks will be offering will help us to become more professional in what we do,” Carter said.

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