On September 11, 2001 it became all too clear that America itself had become the second front in a new kind of war. In Maryland, as elsewhere in our nation, homeland security often begins with a call to 911—a local call that is answered by the firefighters, police officers, and emergency medical technicians in our cities and counties.
One Maryland, prepared and secure.
A prepared and secure Maryland, where state, local and national government, the private sector and citizens are cooperatively engaged in protecting life, health, and property in our state from all hazards, natural or man-made.
The Governor’s Office of Homeland Security is a coordinating office. GOHS’ role is to advise the Governor, lead the development of policies, priorities, and strategy for homeland security in Maryland, and assist state agencies and local government in the implementation of their core homeland security and public safety missions. GOHS is also the primary liaison to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and other federal partners, and oversees coordination of federal homeland security grant funding in the state.
The Foundation of Maryland’s Homeland Security Strategy
As demonstrated by the attacks of September 11, 2001 and natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, lives can be lost—or saved—on the basis of core systems and capabilities such as communications and power generation and their ability to function under the most extreme duress. In addition, the tools used by public safety on a daily basis should be—and are—the same tools needed for homeland security. For example, the information and intelligence systems used to combat drug trafficking and money laundering are the same systems needed to detect and prevent acts by international terrorists. Accordingly, Maryland’s Homeland Security Strategy is built on a series of core systems and capabilities that are fundamental to public safety during both daily operations and elevated incidents. Maryland has currently identified twelve such core capabilities.