Hawaii’s Office of Homeland Security
Homeland Security Office Branches
Plans & Operations
The OHS Planning and Operations Branch translates the State’s Homeland Security Strategy and policy guidance into OHS mission execution through the development of operational and response plans, which guide and direct OHS’s and the state homeland security enterprise’s activities for priority threats and challenges to the state and national homeland security.
Additionally, the Planning and Operations Branch manages the training and exercise elements related to OHS’s mission. It provides development and sponsorship of educational and training opportunities for practitioners across the homeland security enterprise on topics such as school safety, mass gatherings/large-scale events, and responding to threats like weapons of mass destruction and active shooter events. It also assembles relevant stakeholders, organizations, and support groups to exercise operational and response plans and prepare for various homeland security threats such as cyber incidents and disruptions, active shooter, HAZMAT issues, improvised explosive devices (IEDs), civil unrest, and more.
The State of Hawaiʻi receives Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) and State and Local Cybersecurity Grant Program (SLCGP) funding to support prevention, protection, response, recovery, and mitigation in the areas of planning, equipment, training, and exercises throughout the state. HSGP and SLCGP play important roles in the implementation of the National Preparedness System (NPS) by supporting the building, sustainment, and delivery of core capabilities essential to achieving the National Preparedness Goal (NPG) of a secure and resilient Nation.
Hawaii State Fusion Center (HSFC)
The Hawaiʻi State Fusion Center (HSFC) is a Hawaiʻi State government program that facilitates intelligence sharing between local, state, and federal agencies and the public and private sectors. As the nation’s 77th Fusion Center, it is uniquely structured to empower front-line law enforcement, public safety, fire service, emergency response, public health, critical infrastructure partners, and private sector security personnel to understand local implications of national intelligence, thus enabling local officials to better protect their communities.
The HSFC collects tips, leads, and other threat information through suspicious activity reporting (SAR). It conducts analysis, disseminates intelligence, and provides training and technology resources. The top priorities are counterterrorism and cyber security.
State-Wide Interoperable Communications
To do their jobs effectively, public safety responders depend on sophisticated communications systems to relay mission-critical information in real-time. Today’s wireless communications systems must support an ever-expanding set of missions, such as responses to domestic terrorism and weapons of mass destruction, requiring coordinated participation from agencies at all levels of government. Interoperability, or the ability for emergency responders to communicate among jurisdictions, disciplines, and levels of government, using a variety of frequency bands as needed and as authorized, is crucial to responders.
Hawaii Office of Homeland Security Strategy
A Hawaiʻi that is safeguarded against threats to security, stability,
Resolutely safeguard the people of Hawaiʻi, our community values, and our homeland.
· Unity: Harmonize efforts for the benefit of all who live in, serve, and visit Hawaiʻi.
· Honor: Demonstrate honesty, integrity, fairness, and credibility in everyday actions.
· Vigilance: Always aware, alert, and prepared to face new challenges and threats.
Protect and secure the State of Hawaiʻi; provide for its safety against threats.
Hawaii’s Office of Homeland Security is an ever-evolving organization poised to adapt to ever-changing world. It will continuously adapt to threats on the horizon, working to ensure the safety and security of Hawaii and its residents and visitors.
Founded in 2013, the Hawaii Office of Homeland Security (OHS) was established to prevent terrorism, mitigate dangers posed by man-made threats, and help coordinate law enforcement activities within the state relative to those threats. It is a dynamic organization, growing its programs and outreach, strengthening relationships with its partners, better equipping the response community, protecting critical infrastructure, and addressing emerging threats.
OHS’ federal, state, and local partners include the Department of Homeland Security, Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, and the Hawaii National Guard. Additionally, in 2014 OHS merged the Hawaii State Fusion Center into its mission, expanding partners across a broad array of public and private sector entities.
In 2017 OHS began a series of training courses aimed at improving the communication skills of first responders. Trainings offered or co-sponsored by OHS have grown to include bombing prevention, active shooter, health sector emergency preparedness, physical and cyber security for critical infrastructure, incident command system, and several other key subjects to build capabilities across Hawaii’s security-minded response community.
OHS also serves as a channel for securing grant funding for statewide Homeland Security-related efforts. In 2018, this function further expanded to funding similar efforts in nonprofit organizations and via the Urban Area Security Initiative. The office’s cyber security activities, established in recent years, initially focused on promoting cyber-related STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) opportunities for youth, specifically in supporting Cyber Patriot, the Air Force Association National Youth Cyber Education Program created to inspire K-12 students to careers in cybersecurity or other STEM disciplines critical to our nation’s future.
In more recent times, OHS has grown its attention towards emerging threats. Such threats have come to include pandemics (present-day COVID-19), cybersecurity and incident response, election security to include mis- and dis-information, infrastructure resiliency, unmanned aerial (and underwater) systems (and vehicles), as well as others.