Homeland Security Opens With a Lean Headquarters Operation


Only about 100 employees of the Homeland Security Department will immediately relocate to the agency’s temporary headquarters in Washington, Secretary Tom Ridge said Friday, reported GovExec.com.

“We cannot secure the homeland [from] inside the capital,” said Ridge at a press conference after he was sworn in by President Bush. “Now, what we need to do is to get the job done, and what that means is putting resources outside of D.C., employing more people and resources outside of D.C. than inside of D.C., ” he said.

The Homeland Security Department officially opened its doors Jan. 24. The fledgling agency already has a Web site—www.dhs.gov —and an E-mail system, Ridge said. “One of the larger challenges as we set up a 21st century department is to equip it with 21st century technology, and we realize that today marks one step in that process.”

Ridge said the department’s initial headquarters at the U.S. Naval Security Station in Washington is equipped with a threat monitoring center, computers and secure communication lines to connect Homeland Security with other government agencies and emergency management agencies at the state and local levels. The headquarters “meets the security requirements of the new department,” Ridge said.

Ridge said he did not know how long the department would occupy space at the Navy site, located at Nebraska and Massachusetts avenues in Northwest Washington.

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