Homeland security: what are the advantages and disadvantages of different local homeland security organizational structures?
Fitzpatrick, William Mark
Smith, Paul Jonathan
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After the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the creation of the federal Department of Homeland Security in 2002, many local agencies formed their own homeland security entity. Since that time, significant economic downturns have resulted in reductions in the amount of homeland security funding available to local jurisdictions. Another issue involves the lack of a common definition of homeland security and what it entails and how daily operations are conducted to forward the mission. A jurisdiction wishing to continue to support a homeland security entity needs to make sound decisions as it pertains to these issues in an effort to provide the greatest service to its communities. This thesis analyzed three homeland security organizational structures located within the Metro Atlanta, GA, area to find their advantages and disadvantages using a case study method. The analysis for these structures was based on the mission of each structure, as evaluated based on the 2014 Quadrennial Homeland Security Report, or the mission of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or both if applicable, their operational functions as they pertain to the mission, and an inspection of each jurisdiction’s financial records relating to the overall department budget, homeland security budget, and grant monies. Advantages were noted for all structures along with recommendations that included the addition of mission-specific experts, the improvement of information sharing, jurisdictional relationships, cyber protection, and the proper development of a mission statement.
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