While speculation of the emergence of the concept of terrorism dates back to the First Century, the threat finally penetrated our shores at the dawn of the second millennia. A heightened state of awareness now fills our thoughts since the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center that began a seemingly unending effort to prevent, investigate, and prosecute those who threaten and violate the safety and security of the homeland. Even with this heightened awareness and culling the resources of all sectors of governmental and private entities, several events have occurred post 9/11 where a terrorist plot has either been foiled or sadly executed in spite of these monumental efforts. As international terrorism is on the rise with many of our global allies falling victim, the threat becomes increasingly more ominous. The problem is profoundly exacerbated by emerging domestic threats from not only domestic terrorist acts such as the Oklahoma City bombing, but also from natural and manmade disasters. Hurricane Katrina as well as the many others adds to the growing list of incidents which must be handled by criminal justice entities as direct or indirect responders and mitigators of these tragedies.
Criminal justice and law enforcement professionals are often the first and main responders to these types of incidents. They hold roles in federal, state, and local agencies as well as serve similar functions in various non-law enforcement agencies and organizations. As these incidents require coordinated and multijurisdictional as well as support agency responses, principle and support personnel must possess specific knowledge, skills, and abilities to ensure a holistic approach leads to successful outcomes. Core knowledge areas for this concentration include the development of a foundational understanding of the issues and challenges of homeland security principles, emergency management principles, an intimate knowledge of the emergence and foundations of domestic and international terrorism, and the accepted planning and response practices to mitigate and recover from such incidents.
Students who complete the Concentration in Homeland Security will be able to develop a broad understanding of:
- Theories, concepts, and practices used in the homeland security field and in the emergency management field
- Practices and tools used in identifying, investigating, apprehending, and prosecuting international and domestic terrorists
- Management of myriad manmade, natural, and technological disasters
- The integration of these various concepts through the criminal justice system
There is a vast array of careers in the homeland security and emergency management fields that exist in direct line services through support and administrative roles. For example, uniformed police officers, investigators, supervisors, and managers who are responsible for providing police services. Homeland security encompasses law enforcement as well as border security, waterways and ports of entry and exit, site security, and the various infrastructure and transportation systems in the country. These positions exist at the local, state, and federal levels. These roles also exist in many forms in public and private not-for-profit and for profit institutions. Lastly, the military employs such positions in the myriad roles within all of the branches including military police, investigators, supervisors and command officers.