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Homeland Security

State Response + Readiness

Select Louisiana Committees on Homeland Security; Louisiana Senate Select Committee on Homeland Security and the Louisiana House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee were created to provide legislative leadership and assistance in the coordination of state efforts to secure the state of Louisiana from terrorist threats and attacks. These committees, together with the Governor’s Office, are committed and privileged to serve the citizens of this great state in this vital task of assuring a safe and secure environment.

 

Homeland Security Advisor
The GOHSEP Director, as appointed by the Govenor, serves as the Homeland Security Advisor for the state of Louisiana. 
 
Governmental & Infrastructure Resources

GOHSEP’s Homeland Security efforts help the state and parishes prepare infrastructure for potential Risks by identifying Consequences, Vulnerabilities, and Threats that can be mitigated or prepared for in possible future responses to an actual incident. A State Risk Assessment is completed each year to assist in the production of a Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) and State Preparedness Report. It also feeds information into the Annual DHS Critical Infrastructure Data Call and Special Events Data Call.As a partner in the States’ Fusion Center (LA-SAFE) GOHSEP Homeland Security maintains a close working relationship in the state counter terrorism effort.

 

Public Health 

 

Protection of public health and safety requires an all crimes and all hazards approach. The possible exposure to chemicals, biological agents, and radiological and explosive materials caused accidentally or intentionally by individuals or groups motivated by political, religious, ecological or other ideological objectives, requires the public to know some basic information and appropriate responses in the event of a health threat. To be prepared information and resources are available.

GOHSEP is committed to strengthening the State’s health and safety by protecting against health threats to the public. Public health emergencies include disease, biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear incidents caused by intentional acts, accidents, or natural occurrences.

State health security is critical and depends on the ability to safeguard against, mitigate, respond rapidly to and recover from public health threats and hazards.

As an individual it is important to be informed and prepared for the appropriate choices when the situation calls for you to respond. Knowing the appropriate evacuation routes for your area is a good first step, as is the proper procedures for being in the event of a chemical spill or biological attack. There are a number of resources and guides to help you better prepare for an emergency situation and alerts when there is a public health threat.

Public health awareness and preparedness on a high level creates opportunities for collaboration and information sharing among individuals, public health agencies, law enforcement and other health and human service agencies. These activities build alliances to respond to health threats, and also promote healthy lives for Louisiana citizens and address the threats of chronic disease or any other hazards. 

 

Citizen's Awareness

Throughout the years, it has been proven that the citizens of Louisiana are the State’s greatest asset when it comes to identification and action regarding threats by those intent on harming others.

By being aware and proactive, Louisiana citizens can positively contribute to local, State and national security. Among the objectives we strive for are to:

  • Prevent terrorist attacks in Louisiana.
  • Reduce Louisiana’s vulnerability to terrorism.
  • Minimize the damage and recover from attacks that do occur.

By being vigilant, informed and engaged there are many ways that you, as a citizen of Louisiana, can assist the State’s coordinated efforts to secure Louisiana from terrorist threats and attacks. From volunteer work with the Citizens Corps to staying up to date on fact sheets about what you can do to avoid cyber terrorism, there’s a lot each individual citizen can do to contribute to the safety of local communities and the State.

There are a number of organizations and government agencies that can help you play a more active role in staying safe and protecting those around you. Citizens who are aware and vigilant, and who remain prepared for emergencies, are critical to overall family and community preparedness and resiliency, whether the threat is man-made or a natural emergency or disaster.

Terrorism

Suspicious activity is any observed behavior that could indicate terrorism or terrorism-related crime. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Unusual items or situations: A vehicle is parked in an odd location, a package/luggage is unattended, a window/door is open that is usually closed, or other out-of-the-ordinary situations occur.
  • Eliciting information: A person questions individuals at a level beyond curiosity about a building’s purpose, operations, security procedures and/or personnel, shift changes, etc.
  • Observation/surveillance: Someone pays unusual attention to facilities or buildings beyond a casual or professional interest. This includes extended loitering without explanation (particularly in concealed locations); unusual, repeated, and/or prolonged observation of a building (e.g., with binoculars or video camera); taking notes or measurements; counting paces; sketching floor plans, etc.
Some of these activities could be innocent—it's up to law enforcement to determine whether the behavior warrants investigation. The activities above are not all-inclusive, but have been compiled based on studies of pre-operational aspects of both successful and thwarted terrorist events over several years.

Three (3) ways to report suspicious activity in Louisiana

Informed, alert citizens have a key role in protecting their communities and keeping Louisiana safe. There are three (3) ways to report suspicious activity:
If there is an emergency, always call 911.

Update to NTAS

Revised as of 12/16/2015

An NTAS Bulletin's duration is dated and could last for a week, month or even a year.



In 2011, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) replaced the color-coded alerts of the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) with the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS), designed to more effectively communicate information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the American public.

Background

When it was launched, NTAS featured an advisory system that consisted of two types of “Alerts”: Elevated and Imminent. An “Elevated Alert” is intended to warn of a credible terrorist threat against the United States and its territories that is general in both timing and potential location such that it is reasonable to recommend implementation of protective measures to thwart or mitigate against an attack. An “Imminent Alert” is intended to warn of a credible, specific, and impending terrorist threat or on-going attack. DHS has continuously evaluated intelligence threat streams through the NTAS process since the system’s creation, but it has never issued an Alert because neither the circumstances nor threat streams have risen to the required level or purpose of the system.

In order to determine how DHS can more effectively and quickly communicate information to the public and other partners regarding threats to the homeland in the evolving threat environment, and following discussions with homeland security stakeholders, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson directed a review of the NTAS to consider possible revisions. Based on this review, DHS is updating the NTAS to add a new form of advisory – the NTAS “Bulletin” – to the existing NTAS “Alerts.”

NEW: NTAS “Bulletins”

DHS will achieve the objective of more flexible, timely, and useful communication with the public regarding terrorist threats through the introduction of an additional component of NTAS to accompany the existing NTAS Alerts: the NTAS “Bulletin.” NTAS Bulletins will provide information describing broader or more general trends and current developments regarding threats of terrorism. They will share important terrorism-related information with the American public and various partners and stakeholders, including in those situations where additional precautions may be warranted, but where the circumstances do not warrant the issuance of an “elevated” or “imminent” Alert. An NTAS Bulletin will summarize the issue and why it is important for public awareness, outline U.S. Government counterterrorism efforts, and offer recommendations to the public on how it can contribute to the overall counterterrorism effort.

With the introduction of the Bulletin, NTAS will now consist of two types of advisories: Bulletins and Alerts. As under the existing system, if there is sufficient information regarding a credible, specific terrorist threat against the United States, such that it is reasonable to recommend implementation of protective measures to thwart or mitigate against an attack, DHS will share an NTAS Alert – either Elevated or Imminent – with the American public. The Alert may include specific information, if available, about the nature of the threat, including the geographic region, mode of transportation, or critical infrastructure potentially affected by the threat, as well as steps that individuals and communities can take to protect themselves and help prevent, mitigate, or respond to the threat.

The update to the NTAS will allow us to better achieve the goal of making sure Americans across the country have the information they need to keep themselves and their communities safer. This action is not in response to a specific, credible threat to the homeland, but is a prudent measure to ensure that Americans are better prepared and aware of the evolving terrorist threats.

For more information, visit NTAS Frequently Asked Questions.

Suspicious Activity Reporting

Citizens should report suspicious activity to their local law enforcement authorities. 

 

Louisiana's SEE IT, SUSPECT IT, REPORT IT program supports the National Suspicious Activity Reporting Initiative and the If You See Something, Say Something ™ campaign across the United States encourages all citizens to be vigilant for indicators of potential terrorist activity, and to follow NTAS Alerts for information about threats in specific places or for individuals exhibiting certain types of suspicious activity.