What You Need To Know About the Department of Homeland Security

You have likely heard a lot about the Department of Homeland Security from the media. Newspapers, internet articles and television news stations often tout the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as the nation’s No. 1 defense against an array of threats in a dangerous modern world. Being the first and greatest line of defense is a pretty broad description for a branch of the government with great responsibilities and significant resources. So, what is the true purpose of the DHS?

History of DHS

Believe it or not, until September 11, 2001, there were no American departments aimed at internal national security. While other countries employed Ministries of the Interior for decades prior to 2001, it took a disastrous terrorist attack for the United States to place their focus on internal protection. The Department of Homeland Security has grown exponentially since its inception in 2002, transforming into the third largest Cabinet sector and employing a staggering 229,000 individuals.

The Department of Homeland Security has made it its mission to deploy anti-terrorism tactics, both on the ground and online, improve border protection and immigration management and handle the aftermath following a disaster, whether natural or manmade. FEMA, for example, is an agency within DHS.

Child Agencies

The DHS has numerous roles within the United States government, all of which cannot possibly be fulfilled by one single agency. For this reason, DHS is broken into smaller child agencies to better target their many missions with maximum efficacy. These child agencies include the United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the Secret Service and many more. From drug enforcement to civil liberties, to intelligence and nuclear activity, the DHS has a child agency responsible for all of it.

Though many of these child agencies existed long before the DHS was created, they were absorbed into the DHS upon its inception and now report to the Secretary of Homeland Security, who sits on the President’s cabinet to advise on matters of internal national importance.

Building a Career in Homeland Security with the University of the District of Columbia

If you have a desire to serve your country by protecting the United States and its citizens from harm, and helping people if they have been affected by a disaster or attack, it may be time to consider a career in the Department of Homeland Security. Take your first steps into the realm of interior protection with an education from the University of the District of Columbia. UDC offers the country’s leading homeland security program, in which you’ll learn the ins and outs of cyber security, intelligence gathering and interior affairs. Financial aid is available to those who qualify. To learn more about the enrollment process, contact us online or call 202.274.6155 today!

UDC Infographic - History of DHS