In Fort Worth, the homeland security intelligence duties are fulfilled by the Fort Worth Police Department Homeland Security and Intelligence Unit. Formed in 2001, this unit collects, analyzes and distributes intelligence regarding criminal or terrorist activity within the city. This intelligence may be related to labor issues, racial incidents or groups, extremist organizations, or gangs. The Homeland Security and Intelligence Unit provides key strategic information to the Chief of Police as well as its partners at the state and federal level.
Fort Worth was listed among the top ten potential targets for terrorists. This Tier One designation was assigned to Fort Worth in 2009 and resulted in an additional $6 million in funds from federal homeland security grants. Only New York City received a bigger increase in federal grant money than Fort Worth in 2010.
Arrests of Terror Related Criminals in Fort Worth
In October of 2012, Azeez Al-Ghaziani was arrested in Fort Worth for possessing a counterfeit military ID and weapons. Al-Ghaziani was initially investigated when his wrecked vehicle was discovered behind a shopping center. Upon discovering a shotgun and rifle, the mall was evacuated. A search by the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives found no bombs. Al-Ghaziani was later charged with altering government documents and convicted. He could face up to 25 years in prison.
Common Degree Requirements for Homeland Security Professionals in Fort Worth, Texas
Due to its size and importance, Fort Worth, Texas supports a large number of homeland security jobs. Professionals with experience in public health, intelligence operations, criminal justice, public policy or business continuity planning may find employment opportunities if they possess qualifications similar to the following:
- A bachelor’s degree in
- Network security
- Homeland security
- Terrorism studies
- International relations
- Public administration
- Information technology
- Ability to acquire security clearance and pass a background check
- Two years of full time experience in designing or supervising homeland security operations
- Knowledge of major homeland security programs like NIMS, HSEEP and NRF
- U.S. citizenship
- Familiarity with federal and state homeland security policies and laws
- Demonstrated ability to work with private sector and public officials
Homeland security professionals may obtain advanced training through academic institutions, government agencies and professional associations. Many colleges in the Fort Worth area offer degree and certificate programs that include courses similar to these:
- Communication strategies for public safety officials
- Criminal investigation
- Introduction to public safety research
- Technology and homeland security
- World conflict
- Leadership in homeland security
The Texas Division of Emergency Management also offers homeland security courses in Fort Worth that cover:
- Multi-hazard planning for schools
- Mass fatalities
- Warning coordination
Among the most prestigious professional associations offering certifications for homeland security professionals are the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security and the National Domestic Preparedness Coalition.