The AFRD Homeland Security Unit is a strategic component of the Office of the Fire Chief. The unit works with multiple partners at the local, state, federal level to include private industry. Although the unit always worked closely with Emergency Management and the Atlanta Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI), it has expanded to work directly with Law Enforcement agencies to share and process information for intelligence and executive strategic planning initiatives. The unit also assists conducting Threat and Vulnerability Assessments (TVAs) to protect the city’s critical infrastructure and interests. AFRD Homeland Security works closely with Public Health to ensure that health issues and biological threats are mitigated appropriately.
Since the attacks on 9-11, the AFRD has evolved to ensure that emergency preparedness and response to active threats are detected, deterred and/or mitigated by actively engaging our stakeholders to ensure that plans are in place during special events like the NCAA Final Four, the Peach Drop, MLK Day Celebration, the College Football Championship, the Peachtree Road Race (the world’s largest 10K) and the Super Bowl to name a few. The Homeland Security Unit has also taken the lead on the department’s Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP).
The AFRD Homeland Security Unit has played a vital role in planning for dignitary visitations such as the President of the United States, local, state and Foreign Delegates. Natural Disaster planning is extremely important to the department’s emergency service delivery system that a systematic management system is used to respond and recover from inclement weather to include working closely with AFCEMA and FEMA to recover any funds exhausted once the Governor or POTUS issues a declaration.