Homeland Security Degrees and Certification in Charlotte,
North Carolina

Homeland security operatives working in Charlotte maintain a constant state of preparedness to respond to major incidents that may disrupt the city’s law and order, while at the same time investigating major crimes and conducting homeland security training operations. One lesson learned after the September 11th terrorist attacks was the need for inter-agency collaboration, and this is a subject local homeland security forces have taken to heart. Across the state there are 67 organizations working together on counterterrorism and homeland security, many of which are located in Charlotte, such as:

  • Charlotte Joint Terrorism Task Force
  • Charlotte Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council
  • FBI’s Charlotte Field Intelligence Group
  • Charlotte Urban Area Security Initiative
  • Charlotte Department of Homeland Security Advisor
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Office of the Assistant Special Agent-in-Charge
  • Postal Inspection’s Charlotte Division
  • ATF’s Charlotte Field Division
  • Secret Service’s Charlotte Financial Crimes Task Force

Recent Drug Busts in Charlotte

These agencies piece together clues gathered in the field and through surveillance operations into actionable intelligence. Recently the Charlotte Police Department working with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office and federal forces made five arrests at a Charlotte-area fast food joint. This was no ordinary bust however, as law enforcement officials had been conducting extensive surveillance operations on the group for some time, and the quantity of seized goods was not ordinary either: two tons of marijuana and $250,000 in cash. Officers and agents had no doubt that their recent operation had a major impact on the local supply of illegal cannabis.

In another recent drug bust, Charlotte authorities arrested a man discovered to be in possession of cocaine and over $100,000 in cash. Detectives were alerted to the drug offender through one of their clandestine sources which led to high-tech surveillance coverage of the suspect until he was taken into custody. Charlotte is part of a region identified by the federal government as being a high intensity drug trafficking area because of its location near Atlanta and it being a principle gateway for Mexican cartels to the East Coast of the United States. International and local organized crime groups use the city as a bulk drug and cash consolidation center, as evidenced in recent homeland security operations.

Preparing for Careers in Charlotte Homeland Security

Prospective agents and specialists interested in homeland security careers in Charlotte can begin their job search by confirming they meet some basic requirements:

  • U.S. citizen
  • No significant criminal record including any felony convictions
  • Ability to pass a background investigation for security clearance
  • Experience in law enforcement, logistics, and emergency management is beneficial

Many careers have an additional baseline requirement for candidates to have a Homeland Security Degree. There are several institutions in the Charlotte area that offer either bachelor’s or associate’s degrees in Homeland Security, which will open up many opportunities in the field. Bachelor degrees offer a higher level of specialization that can include:

  • Global Comparative Justice
  • Drugs and Crime
  • Crime Mapping
  • Weapons of Mass Destruction

Homeland security certification courses can also be required for particular career paths. These help to prepare the student for homeland security jobs in Charlotte and can include particular areas of specialization. Unlike the degree programs, certification can be accomplished in a matter of weeks. Programs are offered through:

  • North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Emergency Management Office
  • North Carolina Department of Public Safety
  • Department of Homeland Security

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