North Dakota’s border with Canada makes it vulnerable to terrorists intent on infiltrating this country to commit acts of terror. With nine different federal organizations located in Fargo, the city is a key location for a number of security and anti-terrorism groups.
Although tremendous efforts have been taken to secure the country’s southern border, security of the border with Canada has lagged behind. A congressional study released in February 2011 highlighted the lack of security along the northern border and the potential risk this poses for terrorists trying to enter the US from Canada.
Since then, the Northern Border Strategy has been implemented, and it focuses on sharing resources with various agencies, including state and local ones. Fargo has been given $8 million in resources to equip its police officers with state of the art anti-terrorism technology. The city now possesses an armored truck that cost over $256,000.
Fargo faces a number of serious threats to its security. They range from natural disasters, such as flooding from the Red River, to the strong possibility of chemical spills on major transportation corridors. The use of weapons of mass destruction is an ever-present possibility. This combination of potential threats has made professionals with homeland security jobs a vital part of the city.
Homeland Security Degrees and Training in Fargo
Aside from a number of online schools that offer training in homeland security through comprehensive degree programs, Fargo is home to schools that offer bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in emergency management. Required courses cover the theory and practice of:
A number of electives are available, ranging from disaster analysis to spatial analysis in emergency management.
The state of North Dakota encourages professionals in homeland security and emergency management to obtain additional training through the Department of Emergency Services. This training ranges from enhancing communication in times of disaster to contingency planning for hazardous materials. Highly skilled professionals can receive certification to teach these courses, and there are four individuals in Fargo who have been certified.
Homeland Security Careers in Fargo
Fargo has a number of private employers for homeland security and emergency management positions, including a cybersecurity firm that is active worldwide. It provides jobs for security analysts.
There are opportunities for careers among the 26 chemical companies located in Fargo. Local employers include the City of Fargo and Cass Fargo Emergency Management.
A number of federal entities involved in homeland security are located in Fargo. Among them are:
- The District of North Dakota Anti-Terrorism Advisory Council. Better known as ATAC, these specialists in homeland security coordinate efforts between federal, local, state, and tribal entities to help prevent terrorism throughout the U.S.
- The North Dakota Joint Terrorism Task Force. JTTF has an annex in Fargo. These professionals focus on counterterrorism.
- The FBI. Fargo is the site of a resident agency of the FBI that has a long history of coordinating homeland security investigations. Potential homeland security jobs with the FBI in Fargo include intelligence analyst, linguist, computer forensics specialist, and FBI agent.
- The ATF. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives has a satellite office in Fargo. Five of its special agents received national Top Cop Awards in 2012 for their role in reducing violent crime in the state.