What is a Homeland Security Specialist?

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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was founded just over a year after 9/11, staffed by individuals with an emergency management degree in the position of Homeland Security Specialist. According to the DHS itself, the agency has a mission that includes:

  • anti-terrorism
  • border security
  • immigration and customs
  • cybersecurity
  • disaster prevention and management

A Homeland Security Specialist undertakes a variety of different duties at DHS.

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Plan for Contingencies

A major role played by Homeland Security Specialists is to work closely with different emergency management agencies across the United States. In this capacity, these specialists create action plans to recover from natural disasters and terrorist attacks with all deliberate speed.

According to DHS, these objectives include:

  • pool resources of private organizations and government agencies
  • develop evacuation plans
  • maintain and assist local first respondent units

Emergency Response

Homeland Security Specialists are visible in the aftermath of catastrophic events of different types. Most often, these events are natural disasters like hurricanes. This team of professionals also are charged with involvement in the emergency response to other calamities like a terrorist attack.

Specialists bear responsibility for ensuring that victims of a disaster have access to basic services in the immediate aftermath of an incident. These essential services provided by Homeland Security Specialists include:

  • search and rescue
  • other first responder activities
  • operate shelters
  • establish temporary housing
  • meal provision
  • emergency healthcare services

Data Security and Protection

Data breaches and associated security issues have been in the news with regularity throughout the past decade. Some Homeland Security Specialists at DHS are involved in the protection of sensitive information systems and vital data.

There is a practical aspect to this job duty. Specialists are involved in issuing warnings to governmental entities and businesses about threats to computer networks.

Specialists are also involved with monitoring activities on the internet. These proactive efforts are designed to detect digital intruders, malware, and identity theft.

There are instances in which specialists intervene when a system is compromised. These DHS team members create, implement, and present public education programs to assist people in taking action on their own to protect themselves.

Criminal Apprehension

There are Homeland Security Specialists who perform duties of law enforcement agents, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In these capacities, specialists are engaged in a variety of capacitates:

  • airport guards
  • transit hub guards
  • train station guards
  • border patrol
  • freight inspection
  • custom checkpoints

Homeland Security Specialists are also involved in preventing counterfeit goods from entering the country. Specialists participate in preventing other illegal items from crossing the country's borders as well.

The mission of DHS continues to be extremely important when it comes to protecting the nation. The duties of a Homeland Security Specialist, armed with an emergency management degree, will be crucial to that effort well into the future.