The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management was created by the Alaska Disaster Act in March, 2003 as part of the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Its purpose is to provide services to protect people and property in Alaska from terrorism and to help bring about a rapid recovery when disasters occur.
On July 1, 2013, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano traveled to Alaska to meet with personnel from the Alaska Division of Homeland Security, as well as officials from both the U.S. Coast Guard and Immigration/Customs Services, to discuss Alaskan terrorist issues.
How to Become a Homeland Security Specialist in Alaska
In general, homeland security specialist jobs require a bachelor’s degree in homeland security or a related field and a certificate in homeland security. Besides working for the state DHS, homeland security professional in Alaska can find jobs working for hospitals/medical facilities, private corporations, educational institutions, public utilities companies and oil companies.
A current job opening with the Alaska DHS in Anchorage lists these requirements:
- One year of experience as an emergency management specialist OR two years experience creating contingency plans and coordinating recovery efforts after an emergency OR a bachelor’s degree in homeland security.
- Alaska resident
- Valid Alaska driver’s license
- Strong communication skills, especially written
- Ability to work with others developing programs/plans
Salary listed for this position: $48,580 a year.
Alaskans can earn a degree in homeland security from one on-site and several accredited online universities. Candidates for jobs with the Alaska DHS can find open positions and application forms at the “Workplace Alaska” website. Further information can be obtained from the DHS, 49000 Camp Denali, Fort Richardson, AK 99505; Tel: 907/428-7000.
Functions of the Division of Homeland Security in Alaska
- Liaison with FEMA – especially in the distribution of disaster relief funds.
- Emergency Planning – the three-pronged approach is based on planning, analysis and mitigation. Involves working with federal, state and local authorities and first responders to develop evacuation plans and to make response to a disaster as swift and efficient as possible.
- State Emergency Response Commission (SERC) is the state implementation arm of a federal act that deals with chemical facility safety concerns. The SERC has divided Alaska into Local Emergency Planning Districts (LEPDs) that include committees of trained volunteers dedicated to mitigating the impact of any chemical-related disaster.
Alaskan Homeland Security Success Story
The federal Department of Homeland Security has established “fusion centers” across the country that are responsible for receiving, gathering, analyzing and sharing threat-related information. The fusion center in Anchorage has a staff of three, including a homeland security specialist from the Alaska DHS. It was reported that the group was recently responsible for thwarting a militia member in Alaska who was plotting a terrorist event. The individual is now serving a life sentence.