The 2007 National Strategy for Homeland Security specifies three primary goals, and a fourth goal of building a foundation to support the first three. The three primary goals are to prevent and disrupt terrorist attacks; to protect the American people, our critical infrastructure, and key resources; and finally to respond to and recover from incidents that do occur (National Strategy for Homeland Security, 2007, p.1). The President has directed the Secretary of DHS to take responsibility for these goals; “The Secretary of Homeland Security is the principal Federal official for domestic incident management” (Homeland Security Presidential Directive-5, 2003, p.1)
As of 2014, DHS is comprised of seven agencies, three directorates, and a number of other divisions.. These components are organized in a flat model, with most reporting directly to the Secretary of DHS. The flat model may be a little confusing to some. “From the public’s perspective, partnerships if not clearly defined, risk blurring responsibility for the outcome of public programs” ( GAO-02-899T Homeland security, 2002, p. 8). The seven agencies are the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Secret Service (USSS), and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA)(Department Components, 2014). The three directorates are the DHS Management Directorate, the DHS National Protection and Programs Directorate, and the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (Department Components, 2014). Penn examines the literature on homeland security and reiterates one point that the literature makes clear; “that homeland security is a local responsibility”(2007, p.86). We shall examine two of the directorates and their aid to local officials to support this local responsibility, the National Protection and Programs Directorate (NPDD) and the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).
The NPDD defines it's vision as creating a “safe, secure, and resilient infrastructure where the American way of life can thrive. NPPD leads the national effort to protect and enhance the resilience of the nation’s physical and cyber infrastructure” (About the National Protection and Programs Directorate, 2014, para 1). NPDD is comprised of the following offices; the Federal Protective Service (FPS), the Office of Biometric Identity Management (OBIM), the Office of Cyber and Infrastructure Analysis (OCIA), the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications (CS&C), and the Office of Infrastructure Protection (IP) (About the National Protection and Programs Directorate, 2014). One example of NPDD's support for local homeland security is in it's “Work with State and local officials to plan security for large public gatherings, such as Times Square New Year’s Eve, the Presidential Inauguration, and the Super Bowl” (NPPD at a glance, 2014, p.1).
S&T defines it's mission as “to deliver effective and innovative insight, methods and solutions for the critical needs of the Homeland Security Enterprise” (Our Work, n.d, para. 2). One example of the support that S&T provides for the local level has been the development of the Next Generation First Responder (NGFR) Apex program, which “envisions first responders who are protected, connected and fully aware, enabling faster, more efficient and safer response to threats and disasters “ (Apex Program: Next Generation First Responder , n.d., p.1); APEX was developed in conjuction with local agencies, including “over 250 federal, state and local first responders, responder associations” (Apex Program: Next Generation First Responder , n.d., p.1)
enforcement authority--is a unique instrument of a broad strategy to ensure our nation's security. And
I believe that in its own way, it has become the harbinger of the future" (2001, para. 15). I would add to that the Coast Guard has a long history of experience in just those roles.
The Border Patrol would have been my next choice, however, it has been hamstrung by an ideological agenda and prevented from doing it's role in the last few years.
The other agencies suffer from a confusion of roles and blurred responsibilities, as discussed in the GAO report in my original post. I would assign them all a flat model of "last place" equally.