As the seventh most populous state in the union, Ohio is a target rich environment for individuals who wish to harm Americans. With numerous major metropolitan centers in Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati and others, as well as the headquarters to 28 Fortune 500 companies, Ohio must maintain the highest levels of vigilance and protection from the nation’s enemies. The field of homeland security is extremely strong in Ohio with numerous employment opportunities in the public and private sectors.
Ohio Homeland Security
The lead agency responsible for ensuring the public’s safety from criminal or terrorist attacks is Ohio Homeland Security (OHS). OHS provides planning and implementation within four areas: Prevention, Protection, Response, and Recovery. In order to prevent an attack, OHS is actively improving its detection and information gathering programs, as well as facilitating enhanced intelligence analysis, sharing and dissemination. Protection efforts cover risk reduction systems for human, cyber and infrastructure security. Response strategies include training and resource allocation for first responders, military units and volunteer groups throughout the state. A host of infrastructure and economic remediation policies are in place to assist victims and their communities.
Among the most important initiatives that OHS has implemented are protective safeguards of key infrastructure. In cooperation with state and local law enforcement, as well as private companies, OHS has asked that employees and the public notify an authority if they witness suspicious behavior along the Canadian border or the Ohio River.
Training and Requirements for Homeland Security Professionals in Ohio
With a wide variety of seaports, railroads, airports and interstate highways in the state, Ohio supports a large workforce of federal employees in the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The TSA recently posted a job opening for an Intelligence Operations Specialist with a salary between $69,422 and $107,663 per year. The minimum requirements for this career include:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Must be able to obtain top secret clearance
- Must be able to pass a Single Scope Background Investigation
- Must be able to pass random drug tests
- Must possess a bachelor’s degree; a master’s or doctor’s is preferred
- Must have at least one year of specialized experience in applying intelligence concepts and methodologies to transportation security threats
Ohio homeland security professionals may obtain training through a variety of state or federal agencies. The Ohio Emergency Management Agency (OEMA) regularly conducts training exercises involving public health professionals, emergency managers, first responders and private homeland security personnel that are modeled on federal incident scenarios. OEMA utilizes the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program to help design exercises and assess performance.
There are a variety of homeland security organizations that offer training and certification. The American Board for Certification in Homeland Security is one of the more highly reputed professional associations with accreditation programs in
- Certified in Disaster Preparedness
- Sensitive Security Information, Certified
- Intelligence Analyst Certified
- Certified National Threat Analyst
- Certified in Homeland Security—Emergency Medical Responder