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Please answer original forum with a minimum of 500 word and respond to both students separately with a minimum of 250 words each

page 1 Original Forum with References 

page 2 Desmond response with references 

page 3 Chris response with references 

Original Forum

What are the roles and strategies of private sector security in homeland security? Does the US Department of Homeland Security need to facilitate enhanced protection for office buildings, residential locations, and houses of worship? Do other types of facilities require more attention by the US Department of Homeland Security? Why or why not?

Student Responses


After the passing of the Homeland Security act of 2002 and the creation of The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) most people might not think about the importance of private sector security in matters of homeland security. Especially considering that in the aftermath of the September 11 terror attacks, the role of private sector security in homeland security was drastically reduced. These attacks led to the creation of the Transportation Security Administration(TSA) in 2002 and removed private sector security from U.S. airports (Hunter & Lambert, 2016, p. 37), which are arguably one of the most important public targets for terrorists. Despite this change, private security organizations do still hold a key role in our nation’s security, because they are responsible for the security of most of our nation’s soft targets for terror attacks. Unfortunately, many of these security groups are still not prepared to deal with a terror attack.

A survey conducted by Rigakos, Davis, Ortiz, Blunt, & Broz has shown several unsettling trends when it comes to security at some of the nations largest shopping mall. This survey found that half of security directors did not believe that their security staff was prepared for a terror attack, and that few concrete changes had been made to security spending or protocol since 9/11 (Rigakos, Davis, Ortiz, Blunt, & Broz, 2009, p. 286). These issues are componded by the prevalance of shopping mall bombings, there were over 60 mall bombings between 1998 and 2006, and the tendancy of mall security to focus on petty crimes like shoplifiting instead of homeland security objectives (Button, 2008, p. 129). This evidence shows that many of the private security organizations that provide shopping mall security do not have much of a plan or a strategy for dealing with homeland security.

But his unpreparedness is not entire the fault of these organizations, because of the importance and vulnerabilities of most of our nations soft targets DHS should be more heavily involved in their security. I am not saying that DHS agents need to be stationed in every mall, church, and office building in the country, but I do think that they should at least offer to help these security companies provide better training and by sharing more threat intelligence. And Rigakos et al.’s study shows that 72 percent of surveyed mall security directors agree with that assessment (Rigakos, Davis, Ortiz, Blunt, & Broz, 2009, p. 299).

Unfortunately, it is difficult to decide exactly what types of organizations should be afforded extra assistance from the Department of Homeland Security. With modern terror attacks occurring in schools, churches, malls, random streets and seemingly every other location imaginable it can be difficult to predict where the most serious threats lie. Personally, I am of the mindset that the most heavily populated areas, including malls and protests, should receive more DHS attention but I can sympathize with the point of view that schools and other targets which typically have little to no security, should be afforded the extra DHS attention.


Button, K. (2008). The economics of shopping mall security. Journal of Transportation Security, 127-139.

Hunter, J. A., & Lambert, J. R. (2016). Do we feel safer today? The impact of smiling customer service on airline safety perception post 9–11. Journal of Transportation Security, 35-56.

Rigakos, G. S., Davis, R. C., Ortiz, C., Blunt, A., & Broz, J. (2009). Soft Targets?: A National Survey of the Preparedness of Large Retail Malls to Prevent and Respond to Terrorist Attack after 9/11. Security Journal, 286-301.


What are the roles and strategies of private sector security in homeland security? Currently I believe that largest roles of private sector security for homeland security is the standard if you see something say something. Unfortunately security in the private sector does not have much authority. However if we consider a group like Securitas who have security contracts everywhere they could prove very helpful in providing input on trends that they are seeing. For example if they are seeing that certain types of buildings that the DHS would find important or could be considered critical becoming very soft targets reporting this could allow the DHS to step in and provide training or other services. If nothing else get the information out to other critical facilities of similar types.  

Does the US Department of Homeland Security need to facilitate enhanced protection for office buildings, residential locations, and houses of worship? The short answer here is yes. How that can be done is a more difficult question. I would argue helping with training could make an impact. Actually providing anything else could prove too burdensome on an organization that is already taxed. However, zombie apocalypse training (link below for those interested) such as the CDC introduced could provide some assistance to all. Of course we think zombie apocalypse that is dumb. I actually find it brilliant, the CDC has taken what is essentially a cult following of zombies and made it useful. While the CDC is focused on prepared for natural disasters and things of that nature the DHS could focus the training on vigilance, self-reliance, and self-defense. Obviously not saying hand everyone a weapon but training to remain vigilant and how to survive in certain situations could prove helpful to many. 

            Do other types of facilities require more attention by the US Department of Homeland Security? I do think on the whole that the DHS should become more involved in the protection of the power industry. Everything from power plants to the local power station needs some extra protection. This is mainly due to the fact that anyone with a car, gun, or small homemade pipe bomb can do major damage. For example the town I live in could be brought to a grinding halt with a few strategic hits. If just a substation or two locally or certain transformers are removed it cuts power to the entire area. I am not discussing the whole conspiracy shutting down the country however it is not difficult to shut down power to a few areas. The issue here is it sets the stage for a larger attack. When a hundred thousand people are suddenly without power things get weird. Some may remember there were reports of people robbing others at gun point for a couple of gallons of gas within three days of hurricane Sandy. The answer is yes, the DHS could do more for local facilities such as power or even certain large office buildings. This is simply because there are so many private industry companies that provide services to the government that it in my opinion becomes in the interest of the DHS to provide assistance in specific cases.