Law Enforcement Agencies Under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Describe the law enforcement agencies under the jurisdiction of the department of homeland security and their responsibilities. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was created in direct response to the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks. Since that time, however, its jurisdiction has increased and there are many separate agencies and functions of the DHS. There are four major law enforcement agencies within the DHS, all with very important functions that promote the domestic security of the United States.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency is divided up into two separate entities. The first is an agency which enforces domestic laws while it searches for international and national instances of crime that threaten the U.S.’s safety. The second agency concerns immigration laws and is responsible for enforcing the laws as well as deporting those who violate immigration laws. The U.S. Coastguard is also a division of the Department of Homeland Security. This entity is responsible for national security as well as maritime protection.

Many people are not aware of this, but the U.S. Secret Service is a department under the DHS. The Secret Service protects the President, Vice President, their families, and many other significant political figures. The Secret Service also investigates financial crimes such as counterfeiting money and some financial documents.

Finally, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection protects U.S. borders and enforces U.S. laws at these borders. It occupies all U.S. ports of entry and enforces agriculture laws as well.

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Describe the role of police in contemporary society The role of police transcends their prescribed duties within their day-to-day activities. There are several overarching purposes of police officers in our modern society. One of the main and most visible aspects of police work is enforcing laws set forth by legislators. When the police find violators, they are expected to either issue a citation or arrest the criminal. In America, police use a community policing technique. This means that there is usually an officer presence within the community in order to quickly identify and respond to crime Community policing not only decreases the time that police can respond to a crime, but it also deters crime from occurring because people who would otherwise commit crime see the police in the community and understand that there is a high likelihood they would be caught should they commit a crime. The police are also present to give people a sense of civil order and safety.

Most of the population prefers a society in which everyone plays by the rules and there is little chaos and deviance. Although at this point this is an unattainable goal, police promote that sense of security that so many people desire. People generally feel safer when there are police officers present. As the country progresses, police functions have diversified. Many police forces have several divisions to respond to and stop different types of crime. For example, many police forces have an anti-drug unit, a homicide unit, and a sexual crimes unit. Hopefully this diversification continues and law enforcement can make a more concerted effort to stop specific types of criminal activity.


  1. Barlow, David E., (2000). Police in a Multicultural Society: an American Story. Prospect Heights, Ill: Waveland Press.
  2. Bittner, Egon, (1979). The Functions of the Police in Modern Society: A Review of Background Factors, Current Practices, and Possible Role Models.
  3. Cambridge, Mass: Oelgeschlager, Gunn & Hain. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, (n.d.). Border Security. Retrieved from
  4. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, (n.d.). Counterterrorism. Retrieved from
  5. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, (n.d.). Immigration. Retrieved from

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Law Enforcement Agencies Under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (2022, Mar 08). Retrieved from

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