The Department of Homeland Security

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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The Department of Homeland security was created exclusively to make sure that the U.S. is a safe country to live in. The departments’ main purposes are to pass laws, come up with new policies, fight crime and prevent terrorist activities. Extra roles are securing the country’s immigration and border, counterterrorism, responding to disaster and recovery and cybersecurity. Numerous security agencies were combined under one dominant command for ease of coordination and information sharing among different agencies. Altogether are twenty-two agencies that were merged in 2003 to form a comprehensible structure with a clear vision and mandate.

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Cyber and Infrastructure security Agency (CISA) are one of those agencies. Its purpose is to protect critical infrastructure against threats from internal and external factors. They are tasked with safeguarding the nation’s cyberspace (Coates, 2012). It investigates cyber threats and susceptibilities, distributes cyber threat cautions and coordinates cyber incident reaction. Another agency is the United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Its purpose is to secure that terrorists are not permitted to enter the U.S. soil and traffic weapons inside the country. The agency safeguards and allows trade and travel while impressive guidelines that embraces immigration and drug laws. It is having a mandate of securing the nations’ borders and ensuring that no criminal elements and drugs enters the nation’s borders.

The agency is charged with the mandate of making sure that it seals off the borders where illegal immigrants can gain entry into the nation and ensuring that the immigrants that are already in the country are accounted for. The third agency is the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It has the duty of supporting citizens and first responders in ensuring that there is a sustainable and improved capability of protecting against, recovering from, and mitigating hazards against attacks. It works in liaison with other agencies to offer support in order to mitigate the effects of the attacks or their negative effects can be greatly minimized as they work towards saving the lives and properties. The agency is very crucial as it offers the required support in the event of an attack and ensures that the safety of American citizens is upheld even in the event of an attack.

The agency having the greatest mandate in relation to federal law enforcement is the Cyber security and Infrastructure security Agency (CISA). This agency deals with protecting critical infrastructure that can cause serious negative effects on the stability of the nation when breached. Cybersecurity is a key infrastructure that can affects crucial functionality of the country such as finance, communication, military and power among others (Maniscalco, & Christen, 2011). This infrastructure helps in stabilizing the nation and when breached they can cause dire consequences. The National Crime Information Center (NCIC) is mandated to compile a central database that is used by different law enforcement organizations to track crime-related information. It facilitates how information moves between several law enforcement organs.

The data that it compiles helps different law enforcement agencies to obtain the information that they require so as to make their work easy. The records contained in its database include 14 files touching on people and seven files related to property and it can be accessed worldwide by different law enforcement organs. The agencies are helped to apprehend fugitives, locate missing people, recover stolen properties and identify terrorists as a result of the information contained in its database. The information contained in the database helps different agencies to do their work as the whole information can be accessed from any part of the nation and different law enforcement agencies can coordinate their work. It also helps them to perform their duties in a safer manner and provides them with the information needed to protect people. Scholars, policy makers, media and the agencies responsible for enforcing the law can access the information regarding various crimes from the Uniform Crimes report (Said, 2015). The data obtained can be beneficial towards educational purposes and also towards finding solutions to the crimes that have been reported.

The Uniform Crime Reports (UCR) is mandated to compile official data regarding crime in the U.S. Crime statistics are compiled on an annual basis. Data is provided by different agencies of the law in the U.S and given to the FBI who compiles the reports. The EBI compiles the report that they have received, and the information can be accessed by different agencies of the law. Several enforcement agencies provide a reliable set of statistics through URC program and that data is used in many ways. They data can be used for framing the budget, allocating incomes, doing planning and calculating police operations. Criminal justice students also use the information to study the nature, cause, and movement of crime over geographic jurisdictions.

Mass media also uses those statistics contained in the program to inform the public on the state of crime as associated to the national level. UCR program has four data collections There are, however, some weaknesses related to the accuracy of the UCR reports. One of the softness is that at times the information contained in the UCR is used to compile and level individual authorities and institutions of higher learning. These intelligences sometimes cover imperfect study thus creating misleading perceptions that can affect those institutions adversely. Unfinished analysis cannot give the accurate and true situation of things on the ground. It also covers only improved incidences by the police or cases reported to the police.

Therefore, it must not be very accurate as incidents not reported are not included in the statement missing out on the statistics. It does not protection the “dark figure of crime” and it is a victimless crime as it reflects crimes that damage a person or property directly (Said, 2015). Further, weaknesses are that sexual abuse cases reported to the UCR are of female gender only and not male or same-sex rape cases. Jurisdictional reporting is another faintness since different police and agencies state crimes in different ways that UCR does. For example, sexual assault in one state can be defined as rape while in another state it can be defined differently. With the jurisdiction variance creates the difference in understanding of several crimes thus it can affect the way that the agencies bring out their mandate and responsibilities. Another, weakness is that contribution in the program by different agencies is charitable and not obligatory, therefore not all data touching on crime are limited in the UCR.

According to Henry Mintzberg’s typical of chief executive officers, the roles of police executives are separated into three classes namely interpersonal, informational and decisional. Under the interactive category, the police executives act as figureheads and leaders. The executives are required to show direction for others to follow. They are role models and they are looked upon by others to show direction. They network on behalf of the establishment by communicating with both internal and external contacts. They are seen as the people charged with giving direction and inspiring their juniors to follow and ensure that the vision and mission of the organization are achieved. The second category regarding their role is information category where police executives process information. They monitor data that is related to their work and disseminates it where it is required (Mintzberg, 2015). They act as spokespersons since they represent the police force and they have the mandate of communicating the goals of the force to the public. Third category of that model is the decision category. Under this category, the executives use the data that they have obtained to create transformation in the force, handle unexpected situations by providing leadership and allocate resources where they are needed such as assigning staff and allocating funds. The most important role for a chief executive officer’s success is the decisional category. The success of any organization depends on the type of decisions made. A person can have many options to choose from, but the ultimate success will depend on the final decision that has been made. The decision to allocate funds and resources can determine the success in combating crime if well planned.

Creating and controlling change within an organization can help to instill a sense of responsibility on officers because they will be acting under the guidance of police executives who have the mandate of ensuring that the vision and mission of the force are met. There are several legislative enactments that have been formulated to combat terrorist activities. One of them is the Critical Infrastructure Information Act of 2002. It was enacted to enable greater sharing of information on critical infrastructure among the owners and operators of those infrastructure and government entities mandated with providing security. This helps to ease the country’s susceptibility to being attacked by terrorists. It becomes easier for law enforcement agencies to coordinate and work together when information is shared. The information can help in mitigating the possibility of crime taking place. The legislation is effective in combating terrorism because it enables various entities to share information and provide important leads that can be used by the law enforcers to counter cases of terrorism before they happen (Bursik, & Grasmick, 2011).

Another legislation enacted to combat terrorism is the Border Protection, Anti-terrorism, and illegal immigration control Act of 2005. The legislation is effective in combating terrorism because it spells out means and ways of providing border security to ensure that the nation’s borders are not infiltrated, and immigrants are properly documented, and no illegal immigrant is allowed to enter the country. It also makes sure that the nation’s borders are safe from any infiltration by unwanted immigrants.

Documenting all immigrants seeking to enter the U.S can help to account for their movements within the nation. There are several difficulties that are related to determining the actual numbers of hate crimes. Part of the reasons is that hate crime is difficult to track. It is difficult to target a person’s motives and many criminals do not expose their exact motive when they commit crimes. It is thus difficult to prove that an act is a hate crime. Considering that it is not easy to prove that an act is a hate crime has led to poor reporting of the crime thus leading to convictions.

Since it is difficult to prove the case several cases go unreported therefore making it difficult to obtain correct figures? Hate crimes differ from other forms of crime since the perpetrator in hate crime has the motivation to hurt the other person based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. Hate crimes are also specifically done out of hate while other crimes are done out of opportunity or passion (Maniscalco, & Christen, 2011). They are done as a result of the hatred that a person feels for a certain group of people. Hate crime is a crime that has been committed primarily as a result of the victim being in a category. For instance, if a guy stabs a lady because of cheating on him it may be as a result of anger, but it cannot be considered as a hate crime. But if a person hates Muslims for some reasons and as a result of having a bad day at the workplace and a person meets an Islam and becomes even angrier and decides to stab her because she is a Muslim and he hates Muslims then that is considered a hate crime.

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The Department of Homeland Security. (2021, Apr 03). Retrieved from