Homeland security has proven to be an elusive concept. There are at least seven U.S. government definitions of homeland security that approach different threats with distinct policies. One claim about homeland security is that it is about hometown security. This case study sought to identify and examine the activities and perceptions of local security officials to determine if homeland security was synonymous with hometown security, and if so what are the implications for the field. The study analyzed the activities and perceptions of local security officials in one small town in the Northeast United States, and compared them to a synthesis of U.S. government homeland security definitions. The study found that homeland security is very much about hometown security, even as the federal government addresses broad national and international security issues and their implications for protecting the Nation. The Nation needs a coherent National Strategy for Homeland Security separate from the National Security Strategy that incorporates the dynamic interplay between homeland and hometown security.


John Comiskey

Dr. John Comiskey is an Assistant Professor of Homeland Security at Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in homeland security, intelligence, terrorism, and criminal justice. Dr. Comiskey is a retired New York City Police Lieutenant and a retired U.S. Coast Guard Reserve Senior Chief Petty Officer. His professional experiences include law enforcement, intelligence, counterterrorism, and event and crisis management. Dr. Comiskey holds a Bachelor of Science in History from Queens College (CUNY); a Master of Arts in Secondary Education, Social Studies from Queens College (CUNY); a Master of Science in Homeland Security from the Naval Post Graduate School, and a Doctor of Education from St. John Fisher College. Dr. Comiskey’s research interests include homeland security intelligence, developing homeland security curricula and training, and the nexus of crime and terrorism.

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Homeland-Hometown Security: A Coherent National Strategy to Protect the Homeland