U.S. Citizens: The First Line of Defense

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Following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the U.S. government made numerous political, economic, and structural changes to provide greater protection for the nation as a whole. Among the most important of those changes were the actions taken to: (a) establish the new U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – and that department’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA); and (b) reorganize the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) as part of a broader program to better protect the U.S. homeland from additional and possibly even more damaging attacks in the foreseeable future.

Of almost equal importance is the fact that billions of dollars allocated by Congress have been invested in interoperable communications, alternate care facilities, and fusion centers. In addition, state and local police departments across the nation have created their own homeland security departments to combat terrorism within their communities. Obviously, considerable progress has been made, but all of those actions combined and billions of dollars spent still may not be enough.

The full article by CHHS Senior Policy Analyst Vernon Heron and CHHS Senior Law & Policy Analyst Michael Vesely appeared in the July edition of the Domestic Preparedness Online Journal. For the full text click here.

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