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Profile: Department of Homeland Security

 
  

Positions that Department of Homeland Security has held:



 

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Department of Homeland Security actively participated in the following events:

 
  

September 20, 2001: Tom Ridge Named Homeland Security Secretary      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Tom Ridge.
President Bush announces the new cabinet-level Office of Homeland Security, to be led by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge. [Associated Press, 8/19/02] In November, Ridge becomes secretary of a new Homeland Security Department.
People and organizations involved: Tom Ridge, George W. Bush, Department of Homeland Security
          

November 25, 2002: Bush Creates Department of Homeland Security      Complete 911 Timeline

      
This Homeland Security department logo of an eye peeking through a keyhole was copyrighted but apparently not used.
President Bush signs legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security. Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge is promoted to Secretary of Homeland Security. The Department will consolidate nearly 170,000 workers from 22 agencies, including the Coast Guard, the Secret Service, the federal security guards in airports, and the Customs Service. [New York Times, 11/26/02 (C); Los Angeles Times, 11/26/02] However, the FBI and CIA, the two most prominent anti-terrorism agencies, will not be part of Homeland Security. [New York Times, 11/20/02] The department wants to be active by March 1, 2003, but “it's going to take years to integrate all these different entities into an efficient and effective organization.” [New York Times, 11/20/02; Los Angeles Times, 11/26/02] Some 9/11 victims' relatives are angry over sections inserted into the legislation at the last minute. Airport screening companies will be protected from lawsuits filed by family members of 9/11 victims. Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband died in the WTC, says, “We were down there lobbying last week and trying to make the case that this will hurt us, but they did it anyway. It's just a slap in the face to the victims.” [New York Times, 11/26/02 (B)]
People and organizations involved: Tom Ridge, Department of Homeland Security, Secret Service, US Coast Guard, George W. Bush, US Customs Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Kristen Breitweiser, Relatives of September 11 Victims, Central Intelligence Agency
          

March 1, 2003: FEMA Incorporated into Department of Homeland Security      Hurricane Katrina

       FEMA is merged into the Emergency and Response Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security. Michael D. Brown, the agency's new head (see March 1, 2003), assures skeptics that the revamped agency will be “FEMA on steroids.” [Independent Weekly, 9/22/2004] FEMA's Cabinet status disappears as it becomes one of 22 government agencies to be consolidated into DHS. According to the Washington Post,“For a time ... even its name was slated to vanish and become simply the directorate of emergency preparedness and response until then-DHS Secretary Tom Ridge relented.” [Washington Post, 9/4/2005]
People and organizations involved: Federal Emergency Management Agency, Michael D. Brown, Department of Homeland Security
          

After March 1, 2003: FEMA Reportedly Experiences Massive ‘Brain Drain’ and Focus Shift      Hurricane Katrina

       After FEMA is incorporated into the Department of Homeland Security (see March 1, 2003), veteran FEMA employees complain of a massive “brain drain.” FEMA “has gone downhill within the department, drained of resources and leadership,” I.M. “Mac” Destler, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, will tell the Washington Post shortly after the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster. At least one veteran FEMA staff member, Pleasant Mann, complains on the record about the changes FEMA is undergoing (see Mid-September 2004). [Washington Post, 9/9/2005] Local officials complain that FEMA's new focus on terrorism threatens other necessary prevention programs. “With the creation of Homeland Security, [natural disaster prevention programs] have taken a backseat,” says Walter Maestri, emergency management director in Jefferson Parish. “To us, it is pretty obvious which is the greater threat. One is maybe, the other is when.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 10/8/2004]
People and organizations involved: Department of Homeland Security, Michael D. Brown, Federal Emergency Management Agency
          

June 3, 2004: FEMA Awards Contract to Consulting Firm to Develop New Orleans Hurricane Response Plan      Hurricane Katrina

       Innovative Emergency Management (IEM), an emergency management and homeland security consulting firm, announces that the Department of Homeland Security has awarded it a $500,000 contract to lead the development of a catastrophic hurricane disaster plan (see September 23, 2004) for Louisiana and the city of New Orleans. Announcing the award, IEM Director of Homeland Security Wayne Thomas notes that “the greater New Orleans area is one of the nation's most vulnerable locations for hurricane landfall. Given this area's vulnerability, unique geographic location and elevation, and troubled escape routes, a plan that facilitates a rapid and effective hurricane response and recovery is critical.” [Insurance Journal, 6/9/2004; Committee on Government Reform Minority Office, 9/9/2005; Innovative Emergency Management, 6/3/2004]
People and organizations involved: Department of Homeland Security, Innovative Emergency Management
          

September 23, 2004: Homeland Security Department Issues Task Order For Development of SE Louisiana Catastrophic Hurricane Plan      Hurricane Katrina

       The Department of Homeland Security issues a task order for Innovative Emergency Management, Inc. (IEM) to “complete the development of the SE Louisiana Catastrophic Hurricane plan.” IEM is to receive $199,969 for the work. [Committee on Government Reform Minority Office, 9/9/2005]
People and organizations involved: Department of Homeland Security, Innovative Emergency Management
          

June 17, 2005: Authorities Distribute Evacuation Maps to New Orleans Residents      Hurricane Katrina

       The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development begins distributing one million evacuation maps to the residents of New Orleans. “We learned the lessons from the Hurricane Ivan evacuation (see September 14, 2004), and we put those lessons to use in developing a new plan,” DOTD Secretary Johnny B. Bradberry says. “This document is proof that government can and does listen to the concerns of citizens.” The initial printing of the maps was paid for by the American Red Cross and the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. [Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, 6/17/2005]
People and organizations involved: Johnny B. Bradberry, Department of Homeland Security, American Red Cross, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development
          

July 13, 2005: Homeland Security Secretary Announces Plan to Restructure Agency      Hurricane Katrina

       Michael Chertoff, head of the Department of Homeland Security, unveils a massive restructuring plan for the agency. One of the changes envisioned by the plan, dubbed the “second-stage review,” would be to transfer the function of preparedness planning from FEMA to “a strengthened department preparedness directorate.” [Washington Post, 7/13/2005, pp A01] Chertoff further explains that he plans “to take out of FEMA a couple of elements that were really not related to its core missions, that were generally focused on the issue of preparedness in a way that I think was frankly more of a distraction to FEMA than an enhancement to FEMA.” The Wall Street Journal notes this“ would cement FEMA's reduced role” and “[strip] away longstanding functions such as helping communities build houses outside flood zones.” [Wall Street Journal, 9/6/2005]
People and organizations involved: Michael Chertoff, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency
          

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