Security Institutions Comparison and Contrast
The United States military, the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal, State and local law enforcement are security institutions in the United States. Despite the differences in their titles and mandates, they have one thing in common, they are all in place for the security of the United States and her citizens. The above listed institutions have similarities and differences in their roles and purpose to the United States.
The United States Military is mainly trained to protect the United States from violent attacks. The military has branches that cover the various territories of the United States like the Air force, the navy and the military officers in charge of dry land borders (Powers, 2016). The air force protects the airspace of the United States, the navy is in charge of the water territories of the United States. The division of responsibilities sin the military makes it easy for them to efficiently safeguard the United States. Homeland security department is the institution whose primary function is to safeguard the security of the United States’ citizens, interests and property from attack both from within and outside the territory of the country (Homeland Security Department, n.d.). The military and the other security and law enforcement institutions differ because the military cannot interfere in a civilian operation that has not yet been declared a terror situation.
The Federal Law enforcement body is like the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigations in the United States. The Bureau mainly investigates high profile white collar crimes and sometimes violent crimes that cut across State borders (Federal Law Eforcement Agencies, n.d.). The bureau is operational over all the states in the United States. The institution has jurisdiction over all the states but has to work with the state government unless the state government is interfering with the operations. The federal law enforcement bodies mainly operate in the prevention and containing of attacks but when the situation gets out of control, the military is called in to assist. This means that the federal law enforcement and the military do not operate on the same principles. The federal bodies do not do everything to end a situation while the military spares nothing in a situation they have to solve.
The State law enforcement is confined within the boundaries of the state (Federal Law Eforcement Agencies, n.d.). The jurisdiction at this level is not open to the whole United States as it is with the Federal, Homeland and military institutions. The operations of a state law enforcement are independent in a way that a state has the authority to set what is criminal and what is not within their state. Similarly, a crime committed in one state cannot be convicted in a different state if the case is with the state government law enforcement. For instance, marijuana may be illegal in one state while in another state it is legal. A person in possession of marijuana will therefore not be arrested in the state where it is legal but once they cross over to a different state they will be apprehended. The state and the federal institutions are different because the state has a boundary they cannot overstep. The federal institutions on the other hand, have the authority to go into any state, county and locality to accomplish their mission.
The local law enforcement is the primary law enforcing institution in the country. It works under all the security institutions. The local law enforcement is open to communicate with any law enforcement bodies in the system to ask or offer assistance in dealing with security situations. For instance; when a drug cartel is operating in certain locality, the bureau cannot possibly infiltrate the organization without the help of the local law enforcement institutions. The local law enforcement institutions are the most limited in responsibility despite their strategic position in the security chain. The local law enforcement have limited access to information pertaining to high profile investigations even if they are within their localities.
The first difference in the military and the other law enforcement institutions is their way of dealing with threats. The military is always ready to use force and violence to deal with the enemy. The military mainly handles external threats as opposed to the state and local law enforcement that exclusively deal with internal threats and attacks. The duty of the United States military is to protect the sovereignty of the country while the Homeland Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation deals with terrorist attacks against the United States.
The duties of Homeland Security department are among others to secure the United States from outside attacks. Homeland Security protects the United States as a whole from terrorist attacks. The Department of Homeland Security prevents attacks from occurring without using force and combat something the military does not. Both institutions are there to secure the borders of the United States. They, however, apply different tactics to achieve the same results. The Homeland department strives to solve cases amicably without the use of violence.
The role of the Federal law enforcement institutions is to protect the United States against white collar attacks. White collar attacks are like fraud, cyber-terrorism attacks of the government or any American institution. The bureau is supposed to fight and stop violent attacks as well. Mainly, the bureau handles organized crimes better because they have the technology, skills and disposition to infiltrate gangs and bring them down. The Bureau is the overall intelligence and security institution in the United States. It is supposed to ensure that all the other law enforcement bodies are functioning properly by availing information to them where need be to curb crime. The Bureau has the duty of preventing intelligent criminals from striking the United States. The military is rarely if ever involved in dealing with white collar crime. The military is trained for combat and not dialogue.
The local law enforcement offers more hands on security services to the citizens because they usually are the closest to the citizens. The response time for the local law enforcement is more prompt to the needs of the citizens. It is considered the primary law enforcement institution in the United States. The other law enforcement bodies like the State Law enforcement and the Homeland security department deal with insecurity at a higher level. The insecurity has to have gone beyond the jurisdiction of a single local law enforcement escalating it to a state issue. The local enforcement cannot compare to the military whose major operations are on the borders of the country as opposed to the local which works within the country.
The Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are more at home with preventing crimes of bigger magnitudes as opposed to what the local law enforcement can handle. The duties of these institutions are similar in that they are all supposed to ensure the safety of the American people, property and territory. The duties of local law enforcement officers are diverse. The local law enforcement police officers are always on the ground with the citizens in form of patrol and proximity to the people in case a report has to be made. The local law enforcement is always first in responding to crime reported to be occurring and stopping it. The local law enforcement also takes the reports of crimes as reported and investigates to gather evidence for use in trial of the suspects. The local law enforcement interacts with the petty crime suspects and the scope is wide enough to include the bigger criminals (Alyson, 2017). The local law enforcement officers protect the citizens from crimes such as theft, robbery and violence. They also prosecute the suspects accused in these small time cases.
The local law enforcement liaises with the other law enforcement bodies in case they net a criminal they cannot deal with like a terrorist. The higher security institutions do not give away their cases from other institutions to deal with, they find ways to neutralize the threats. The Federal Law enforcement bodies only give their cases to international intelligence teams when the matter affects more than one country. The local law enforcement duties cannot go to such lengths given their limited training and jurisdiction. The military at no point do they receive crime reports from civilians. This means that they have to find the information on their own which is why they use invasive intelligence collection methods.
The duties of state law enforcement are to maintain law and order within the state. The state government is mandated to enforce the laws they see fit within their states because they are closer to the people than the federal government. The state government is in touch with the personal cultural obligations of the citizens within the state. The duty of the state law enforcement is to protect the borders of the states from attack by citizens of other states. The state law enforcements also prevents the crime execution within the state. (Appel & Abrahamson, 2017).
The responsibilities of these institutions are diverse and spread across many levels of security insurance for the United States citizens. The primary responsibility of these institutions is to ensure the United States stays peaceful and calm. They, however, differ in the stages at which they maintain the calm and peace.
The military is responsible for preventing attacks from outside the United States from affecting the United States’ stability and independence. The military is responsible for neutralizing threats before they get to the American soil. It is for this reason that the military has the air, water and dry land wings to cover all avenues that can be used to attack the United States. The military, Homeland Department of Security and the Federal law enforcement institutions differ in this aspect. The military is not as heavily invested in protecting the United States against Cyber Attacks as these other bodies are. The local law enforcement bodies cannot be on the same level with the military in handling threats and situations.
The department of Homeland Security is tasked with predicting terrorist attacks both from within and without the United States. It is the responsibility of the department to collect all the possible intelligence pertaining to the threats on the country even from foreign governments. The difference between the methods used by the military and Homeland Department is the type of technology and interrogation tactics. The military is trained to deal with hostile perpetrators while the Department is mostly civil in their operations. The Department has the responsibility to ensure the least amount of collateral damage is done while the military focusses on how best to neutralize the threat regardless of the collateral damage caused. These institutions differ in their ability and training to handle delicate situations. The military is not trained to deal with friendly criminals. They would be ill-equipped to apprehend a fraud suspect while the homeland security department along with the federal institutions would be well versed with the situations.
The Federal Bureau of Intelligence is responsible for the skilled investigation of crimes and gathering of intelligence that aids in protecting the country against terrorism. The Federal Bureau of investigation is the overall intelligence body in the United States which give it the mandate to ensure other intelligence agencies are secure as well. The Federal Bureau of Investigations is also responsible for bringing down terrorist gangs that intend to cause harm to the United States. It is also the responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation to ensure the quality of operations is up to par. Finally, the communication department of the Federal Bureau of Investigations is supposed to always relay credible and detailed communications on its operations to the relevant bodies.
The local law enforcement officers are responsible for the safety of the citizens at the local levels. They have the mandate of monitoring the locality and investigating anything that seems unusual. The local law enforcement officers have the responsibility of maintaining peace and calm within their jurisdictions. It is also the responsibility of local law enforcement officers to ask for help from the higher intelligence authorities when the threat they uncover is beyond their control. The general differences in the responsibilities of these institutions lies with the jurisdictions of operations and the training the officers undergo.
The military has very highly developed technology and intelligence collection methods. The military is a combatant security institution. The military officers are not big about using negotiation and civilized investigation procedures. They are usually the last resort when dealing with cases that pose a threat to the United States and her citizens. The military officers often work with the information they personally collect by using spies, drones and all manner of technology at their disposal to safe guard the borders of the United States (Drew, 2010). The military uses highly invasive methods of collecting intelligence while at the same time running a very tight ship with the information. The intelligence information within the military is highly guarded with people in the same department not sharing information without authorization from above. This is very different from the federal institutions which share information within their small investigative teams.
The Homeland Department collects intelligence by use of technology just like all the other law enforcing. It also uses plain clothes officers to collect intelligence for their cases on the ground. The Department monitors suspects upon information that there is something going on. The Department conducts civil investigations and use force as a last resort. The department works with the local and state law enforcement to gather intelligence on their cases. The Homeland Department has previously been accused of blindsiding the local law enforcement in one of their missions in Santa Cruz (Todd, 2017). The Federal Bureau of investigations uses the best technology to collect intelligence for their operations. The bureau is always on the lookout for threats against the United States. The bureau collects information by using informants who live among the people. The Bureau also has technological equipment to protect the United States government from cyber-crimes. The Bureau is a tight ship with intelligence information.
The local law enforcement collects their intelligence from the ground by gathering reports, interviewing witnesses and investigating the details of the reports before moving the case to trial. The local law enforcement officers also make use of detectives to gather evidence in cases and arrest suspects in preparation for trial. In the local law enforcement level, the officers are all expected to perform the same duties which includes paper work that is used to prepare for trial of suspects and witness protection where need be.
The state law enforcement collects their intelligence from local people by observation, using informants and general patrol within the state. The security department within the state has access to all the areas within the state. This means that the state government can get the intelligence reports they need from the local law enforcement. The state and the local law enforcement have almost similar methods of operations only made different by the area they cover.
All these security institutions have one common goal of ensuring the safety of the American people. It is important for these institutions to device a method for sharing the intelligence information that would potentially prevent crimes from happening.
Alyson, J. (2017, March 31). What are the Duties of Local Law Enforcement? Retrieved from Chronicles: work.chron.com/duties-local-law-enforcement-14089.html
Appel, J., & Abrahamson, D. (2017, March 31). The Role of State Law Enforcement. Retrieved from Americans for Safe Access: www.safeaccessnow.org/the_role_of_the_state_law_enforcement
Dillon, D. (2002, April 10). Breaking Down Intelligence Barriers for Homeland Security. Retrieved from The Heritage Foundation: www.heritage.org/homeland-security/report/breaking-down-intelligence-barriers-homeland-security
Drew, C. (2010, January 10). Millitaryis Awash in Data from Drones. Retrieved from Business Day: mobile.nytimes.com/2010/01/11/business/11drone.html
Federal Law Eforcement Agencies. (n.d.). Retrieved from users.soc.umn.edu/~samaha/cases/federal_and_local_law_enfrocement_agencies.html
Homeland Security Department. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.dhs.gov/objectives
Powers, R. (2016, September 19). U.S Military. Retrieved from The Blance: www.thebalance.com/u-s-military-101-3331988
Todd, M. (2017, February 24). Homeland Security Misled City with Gang raids that were Immigration Related. Retrieved from Carlifornia News: www.mercurynews.com/2017/02/23/santa-cruz-police-homeland-security-raids-immigration-status-not-gang-related/
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