The purpose of this assignment is to explore how homeland security is defined, constructed, and delivered in your local jurisdiction at a strategic level. Create a policy memo of 750–1,000 words that summarizes the major topics listed below. Your memo should outline your research findings on the major topic areas and research questions. You may consider your local jurisdiction as a town or city, county, or state of your choice. You are encouraged to interview local homeland security practitioners, either in person or via e-mail to complete this assignment.
Address the following in 750–1,000 words:
What jurisdiction did you choose for this assignment?
How is homeland security defined by your jurisdiction?
Is there a written definition or strategy?
Is this document public? If not, why not?
If there is not a written definition at the local level, consider the findings of your research in the context of the definitions and environment outlined in resources provided (e.g., the National Strategy for Homeland Security).
How does your local strategy differ from the national strategy?
How is it similar?
Are these differences appropriate?
What is the scope of the strategy? Explain.
Does it define the key participating agencies and disciplines?
Does the local strategy include participation by the private sector? Does it include nongovernmental organizations?
How are the state and federal government incorporated into the strategy? Explain.
If they are not, should they be?
Who (what agency) wrote the strategy?
What agency provides primary HS leadership? Is there more than one?
What are the platforms for interagency coordination of HS strategic issues (e.g., meetings, conference calls, and task forces)?
Has the focus on HS as a metadiscipline, wavered in the years since 9/11 in your jurisdiction?
Is the level of strategic focus on HS at the local level appropriate for the HS environment that the nation and your jurisdiction find themselves in today?
Be sure to reference all sources using APA style.
Compile your answers into a final Word document, and submit it to your instructor
Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agencies
SUBJECT: Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agencies
The jurisdiction chosen was Alabama Homeland security, which is a state agency that works with the federal, state and local partners to prevent protect and respond to acts of terrorism within the State of Alabama. Two statutes address the emergency and disaster situations in Alabama, and they include the EMA (Alabama Emergency Act of 1995) and the HSA (Alabama Homeland Security Act of 2003). The Emergency Management Agencies of Alabama focus on disasters that may need emergency attention through their BE READY Programs. The jurisdiction also makes grants to political subdivisions to be prepared.
Alabama defined Homeland Security as an agency purposed to serve the security of its citizens since the 9/11 attacks redefined the nation as it was known forever. Due to this case, the State hopes to accomplish maximum protection through Homeland by supporting local first responders during an incident and going as far as getting private sector partners to protect its citizens. There is a written strategy to ensure that Alabama Homeland Security remains true to its definition. This act is the Alabama Security Act of 2003, and it is publicly available since it was signed by Governor Bob Riley and Director of Alabama DHS Spencer Collier in 2003. The purpose of the documentation of the Act and making it public is aimed at creating awareness among the citizens of Alabama and assuring them of their safety. The State of Alabama is aware of how terrorism redefines the environment hence the need to respond. Through taking these steps, they believe that they will be able to identify the threat and defeat it before it gets the chance to kill and destroy property.
There are no significant differences with the national strategy only that the Alabama jurisdiction has an in-depth scope on each national policy. The national strategy for Homeland Security, as issued in 2002 comprised of a four-goal framework that the AL DHS has strived to fulfill. These agendas are prevention and disruption of terrorism, protection of Americans, their critical infrastructure and resources, response and recover from incidents, and continued security. It is appropriate that Alabama took the initiative to mitigate each goal for long-term success. That way, it is possible for the HSA and EMA to have clear objectives on preparedness and response.
The scope of the strategy is quite extensive as it covers preparedness with available resources provided by the State. Alabama has a program called BE READY that focuses on children preparedness, safety for the deaf, and measures to take depending on the type of calamity. There are resources for the public through mitigation plans in case of an emergency, weather radio codes and public notices. Moreover, the State has ensured that they offer training programs to their citizens to handle emergency management. During an emergency each division has pre-identified Division Emergency Operations Center that may be primary or alternate. As stated in the Alabama Homeland Security Act of 2003, the state’s local strategy may take on the private sector and non-governmental organizations to help achieve their goal.
The state and federal governments are incorporated into the strategy through the Homeland Security Grant Program. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency wrote the policy where both Homeland and Nonprofit Grants are channeled into the plan. The US DHS through the Federal EMA awards the Homeland Security Grant Program. Alabama Law Enforcement Agency serves as the administrative agency for the award. Through these funds, the state and federal governments can ensure that the state can prevent terror in any form. The state government believes that through these grants it is possible to mitigate threats before they become a national hazard. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency also applies for the nonprofit Security Grant to support charitable organizations that aim at preparing the citizens for threats against the high risk or terrorist attacks.
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is the primary Homeland Security leadership unit as it serves as the State Administrative Agency. This is the only agency that can request for the Homeland Security Grant and the Nonprofit Security Grant. The local first responders make up the task force and include emergency management agencies, rescue squads, volunteer fire departments, police departments, and sheriff officers (ALEA, 2019). The level of focus at the local level is appropriate for the Alabama Homeland Security environment that the nation finds itself in today.
In conclusion, the Alabama Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agencies are well prepared in cases of handling catastrophe. They ensure there is organization whereby their response teams are trained and ready to prevent, assist, and recover from threats. Creating awareness within their general public is another strategy they take as they encourage their citizens to be on the watch for danger and act accordingly. The state of Alabama sets a good example when it comes to risk management as their strategies are per the US DHS goals and worth emulating.
ALEA. (2019). Homeland Security: Alabama Law Enforcement Homeland Security Department. Retrieved from https://www.alea.gov/office-of-the-secretary/homeland-security