National Security and Homeland Defense Research Paper

Pages: 7 (2097 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Criminal Justice

Homeland Security

Since 9-11-2001, homeland security, stopped being the sole responsibility of the national government and became the responsibility of every law enforcement agency in the United States. There is now cooperation between federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies; with each level having its own individual responsibilities as well as the obligation to cooperate together. At the national level, the Immigration Customs and Enforcement Agency is one of the largest and most well-known federal law enforcement agencies which has an important homeland security function. At the state level, the Michigan State Police is an example of an agency that has also played an important role in homeland security, as have the Lubbock Police Department at the local level. The United States has adopted a multi-leveled approach to homeland security with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies essential to homeland security.

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An example of a national agency which is involved in homeland defense is the U.S. Immigration Customs and Enforcement Agency, better known as ICE. This agency is the "principle investigative arm of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the second largest investigative agency in the federal government." ("U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Webpage") This agency does not guard the borders of the United States, but through offices in all 50 states, as well as 40 foreign countries, conducts investigations which involve "governing border control, customs, trade, and immigration." ("U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Webpage") With an annual budget of close to $6 billion dollars, and employing close to 20,000 personnel, this agency has two main functions: "Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO)." ("U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Webpage")

TOPIC: Research Paper on National Security and Homeland Defense Assignment

Due to national security precautions, it is difficult to get an accurate percentage of which personnel are actual sworn officers of the law and which are support personnel. But these people engage in investigations of offenders, as well as the attempts to apprehend known offenders. This includes the well-known large scale raids on companies which employ illegal immigrants, but also the small scale raids in which individual criminal immigrants, which have been identified through investigation, are apprehended.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency also investigates terrorism as part of its homeland security responsibilities. For example, in early 2011, when three Pakistani-Americans were suspected of "trying to smuggle someone they thought was part of the Pakistani Taliban into the United States," it was the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency which apprehended the suspects. ("Three Plead Guilty...") Through a joint investigation conducted by the ICE office in Quito, Ecuador, along with the office in Atlanta, with cooperation from the FBI and the Ecuadorian National Police, Ice was able to interdict, not only a human-smuggling operation, but a terrorist-support network within the United States.

According to ICE's webpage, its mission is to "promote homeland security and public safety through the criminal and civil enforcement of federal laws…." ("U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Webpage") The agency is currently under the direction of John Morton, who has been in federal law enforcement and immigration since 1994. Under Morton's direction the agency has developed four key priorities: preventing terrorism and enhancing security, protecting the borders against illicit trade, travel, and finance, protect the borders through interior enforcement of immigration laws, and to be an efficient and affective agency. ("U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Webpage")

In terms the core values of the ICE, in comparison to those of SLU, they seem to have excellence, community, respect, and integrity in common. Ice strives to be effective and efficient, protects communities across the country, respects the laws and the people of the United States, and acts with integrity. However, while SLU is an educational institution, where the young come to learn and develop as people, there is an expectation of personal development and responsible stewardship, as well as a strong Catholic base. These aspects of SLU's core values are not included in the ICE mission statement, as ICE is not a religious or educational institution, but instead a secular government agency.

There are 50 states in the United States of America and each has its own police force with homeland security obligations and responsibilities. One such state police force, the Michigan State Police, has the entire state of Michigan as its jurisdiction. The latest statistics involving the Michigan State Police personnel come from 2009, but at that time the MSP had 1,730 sworn officers and 866 civilian employees. The MSP personnel was divided into 7 districts who's mission is to "protect public safety while respecting the rights and dignity of all persons." ("Michigan State Police Webpage") The MSP does this through preventing and investigating crime, enforcing the law, improving traffic safety, provide for homeland security, as well as emergency prevention and response.

According to the State of Michigan Homeland Security Strategy, the responsibilities of the Michigan State Police are "daily emergency response and homeland security operations…." (Michigan Homeland Security Strategy) These responsibilities are in support of the goal of safeguarding the residents and resources of Michigan. As they did in March of 2010, when a plot was discovered involving a Christian militia group's planned attacks on multiple law enforcement agencies and personnel. (Miller, 2010) The Michigan State Police were one of the targets of the planned terrorist attack and conducted raids to apprehend several of the suspected terrorists. The "Hutaree Militia" was brought down before it could conduct a series of terrorist attacks due to cooperation and support between the FBI and the Michigan State Police.

The guiding principles of the Michigan State Police, according to the MSP, are hands-on leadership, success through people, optimistic commitment, reinforcement and support, and a commitment to responsibility. It would seem that excellence, community, respect, and integrity are also part of the Michigan State Police and their value statement clearly states that they are committed to "a PROUD tradition of SERVICE through EXCELLENCE, INTEGRITY, and COURTESY." ("Michigan State Police Webpage") This is very similar to SLU's core values as state on their website, but like the ICE, the MSP makes no claim to any religious affiliation. In fact, religion is not mentioned in their statements, but the moral and ethical commitment being made by the MSP is obvious when they state to respect the rights and dignity of all persons. They may not say that they are a Christian-based organization, but their goals and values seem to indicate a similarity between the core values of the MSP and SLU. It is interesting that two organizations, one secular and one religious, can have very similar core values.

Finally a local agency that has been involved in the apprehension and holding of suspected terrorists is the Lubbock Police Department, located in Lubbock Texas. This agency is responsible for protecting and serving the people in the city of Lubbock Texas, and as of September 9, 2011, has 381 sworn officers of the law, as well as 37 dispatchers. However, there is currently a shortage of officers as the department's authorized strength is 422 officers. (Lubbock Online) These officers are divided into different divisions which include: Administration, Communications, Investigations, Patrol, and Code Enforcement. And while the Department's mission is to protect life and property, each division has its own stated mission to perform.

For instance, the Communications division's mission is stated as "to provide quality service to interdepartmental agencies thus enabling these agencies to perform their duties effectively and efficiently…." ("Lubbock Police Department Webpage.") But the Investigations division states its mission as to "serve and protect the health, safety, welfare, and morals of the public by conducting criminal investigations and enforcing laws governing public health, order, and decency." (Lubbock Police) But by far the largest division in the Lubbock Police Department is the Patrol division. This division's mission is to maintain social order, conduct preliminary investigations of crimes, apprehend suspects, enforce traffic and parking laws, interact with citizens, and deter crime by their presence. ("Lubbock Police Department Webpage.")

Like every other local police force in the United States, the Lubbock Police Department does have national security, or homeland security, duties; however, they mostly involve cooperating and supporting state or national agencies in their work. Although sometimes they themselves instigate an investigation that ultimately results in homeland security becoming involved. One such case happened in February of 2011 when Khalid Ali-M Aldawsari was arrested by the FBI in Lubbock, Texas on charges of the attempted use of a weapon of mass destruction. (Casteel, 2011) He had tried to acquire the necessary equipment and chemicals to construct an improvised explosive device (IED). According to Lubbock Mayor Tom Martin, it was the Lubbock Police Department who "generated the information about the suspect…[and] we have a very, very good working relationship between all agencies of law enforcement, federal, state, and local…" (Casteel, 2011) In cooperation with state and federal officials, the Lubbock Police apprehended and held the suspected terrorist.

The Lubbock Police Department's Website states clearly that their mission is to protect life and property, and the individual division's missions are tailored to accomplishing that goal.… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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