In February 2013, a Charleston, South Carolina, man was arraigned by a federal grand jury on charges that he possessed illegals firearms and ammunition and used social media and email to threaten the life of the President of the United States. Through the effective collaboration of a number of state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies, this individual was successfully brought into custody before he was able to act on his threats.
This latest incident is just one example why domestic and international homeland security initiatives are a critical component of Charleston’s security and safety efforts.
Homeland Security Degrees and Certification in Columbia, South Carolina
Homeland security professionals are, on a near-daily basis, being confronted with new and more terrifying risks of terrorism, both on a domestic and an international level. Because these professionals must possess specific skills related to counterterrorism and emergency management, a degree in homeland security or a related field is a common path to careers in this field. Because of the wide scope of this field, degree programs in homeland security vary, as to allow professionals to specialize their education based on their current profession or area of expertise.
Just a few of the degree programs offered in homeland security include:
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice – Homeland Security
- Master in Criminal Justice – Homeland Security Policy
- Master in Criminal Justice – Homeland Security Policy and Coordination
- PhD in Public Policy – Homeland Security
- Master of Science in Management – Homeland Security
- Master in Homeland Security
Homeland security degree programs are ideal any number of professionals involved in counterterrorism or emergency management, including intelligence, public safety and administration, investigation, and national security professionals. Criminal justice professionals may include:
- Transportation security agents
- Undercover operations teams
- Surveillance teams
- Computer forensic specialists
- Foreign bureau analysts
- Wireless communication experts
- Political scientists
- Public administrators
- First responders
There are also a number of certification designations for individuals seeking additional training in homeland security:
The National Domestic Preparedness Coalition
- Certified Homeland Protection Professional (CHPP) Certification
- Certified Homeland Protection Associate (CHPA)
The American Board for Certification in Homeland Security
- Sensitive Security Information, Certified
- Intelligence Analyst Certified, IAC
- Certified National Threat Analyst, CNTA
- Certified Master Chaplain, CMC
- Certified in Homeland Security – Emergency Medical Responder
- Certified in Disaster Preparedness, CDP-I
Homeland Security Employers in Columbia, South Carolina
South Carolina is just one of 22 states with more than one Joint Terrorism Task Force. In all, South Carolina has 56 organizations involved in homeland security and counterterrorism, with at least 14 of those organizations starting following September 11, 2001. Some of the largest employers of homeland security professionals in Charleston include:
FBI Field Office, Charleston: South Carolina’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces have operations at both FBI Field Offices in Charleston and Columbia.
Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center: South Carolina is a member of the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center, as well as the Regional Organized Crime Information Center.
South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED): The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is the lead agency for counterterrorism. This organization also participates in Project SeaHawk, a counterterrorism initiative for seaports, which was created by the United States Attorney’s Office.
Southern Shield: South Carolina is a member of the Southern Shield, which is a consortium of officials in law enforcement and homeland security from 12 southeastern territories and states.
South Carolina Intelligence and Information Center: The Intelligence and Information Center, which was established in 2005 and is part of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, is the state-designated all-crimes fusion center.