Ridge unveils DHS reorganization
Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge plans to reorganize staff and consolidate resources of the Homeland Security Department to boost security in four areas.
The agency has started initiatives to enhance commercial aviation and border security, improve the homeland security grant process and improve secure communications with state government, Ridge said Sept. 2 in a speech given at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington.
The department will hire 5,000 additional federal air marshals, combine three different border inspection functions, consolidate terrorism grant and training programs within one office and provide secure video and telephone communications to all states, territories and the District of Columbia, Ridge said.
To increase coordination and information sharing between federal air marshals and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, Ridge said the Federal Air Marshall Services and Explosives Unit from the Transportation Security Administration will transfer to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement unit.