The NRF provides for 15 “emergency support functions” (ESFs), including Emergency Support Function-13 (ESF-13), which covers public safety and security. The ESF-13 from FEMA details support services related to Public Safety and Security. The primary agency in control of ESF #13 is the Department of Justice/Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives. The ATF’s efforts are to support the full range of incident management activities by coordinating and integrating public safety and security capabilities and resources. The Department of Justice designated the ATF to manage/coordinate the functions of ESF-13. As part of the National Response Plan, ESF-13 involves the coordination of federal law enforcement response for public safety and security. On stand-by and ready to deploy whenever a potential or actual crisis requiring a coordinated Federal response are other agencies that fall under the Department of Homeland Security and the DOJ. Scope of ESF-13 ESF-13 is a mechanism for providing and coordinating Federal to Federal support; Federal support to State, Tribal, and Local authorities; and/or in support to other ESFs.
These elements consist of law enforcement, public safety, and security capabilities/resources in the event of a potential or actual disaster requiring a coordinated Federal response such as a major hurricane. The capabilities support crisis incident management requirements that include force/critical infrastructure protection, security planning/technical assistance, technology support, and of course general police operational support assistance. This occurs in both pre-incident and post- incident situations. ESF-13 will activate whenever States, Tribal, and local government resources are overwhelmed or become inadequate when circumstances require extensive public safety and security applications. This will also apply when requirements for protective solutions or capabilities that is unique to the Federal Government for Federal to Federal support operations. The activities of ESF-13 should not be confused with what is described in the Terrorism Incident Law Enforcement and Investigation Annex of the NRF. Terrorist attack incidents, ESF-13 coordinates and contributes support to the DOJ/FBI operations only when requested. Participants of ESF-13 Appointed by the DOJ, the ATF is the lead coordinating authority for ESF-13. The ATF is tasked with the daily management and operations responsibilities when ESF-13 is implemented. This involves the planning, preparations, and coordination for national emergencies at the national, State, and local levels. Between the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the governor’s office, public safety officials at the State level, and all levels of law enforcement, the ATF serves as liaison on a day-to-day basis. Participation in exercises and a number of planning sessions a part of the ATF responsibilities also. The level of responsibility increased and the growth of ESF-13steadily rose, the core budget’s funding was diverted and adversely affected ATF’s other programs. The ability to develop properly a foundation for the program was hindered due to lack of resources, manpower, equipment, and training that were dedicated to ESF-13. To ensure ATF’s ability to provide immediate response to the American public with high caliber law enforcement preparation and response will require additional resources. Those resources must come from the Department of Justice and the Federal government in a time of crisis. Other members include the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) may provide available manpower and resources;
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) may provide specialized services and resources; Office of Justice Programs (OJP) offers services critical to and direct support to State, Tribal, and local law enforcement in their efforts to maintain the rule of law and the continuity of operations. Additionally, by direct or leveraged emergency funding support, specialized equipment loans, emergency support services, emergency technical assistance on local law enforcement policy and practices, and technical services related to information sharing and technology applications.
The U. S. Marshals Service (USMS) may provide available manpower such as deputies, support personnel, medics, explosive detector canine teams, and technical operations support. Operational Response to a Critical Incident of Federal Interest The ATF’s Special Operations Division and ESF-13 National Coordination Center at Headquarters coordinate requests from FEMA HQs and the Joint Field Office (JFO) when activated. At the activation of ESF-13 during the occurrence of a national emergency, the ATF will deploy within about six hours to the affected area when notified. Partnering with State law enforcement once on scene, the ATF will evaluate the situation as it relates to public safety. Performing as a clearing house, the ATF matches Federal law enforcement’s available resources with the requesting jurisdictions needs. The ATF works to ensure the deployment of those resources are quickly done. The administrative and operational controls of the ESF-13 resources are with the law enforcement agency requesting assistance while deployed. Whenever requested by the agency, the ATF will provide administrative support and safety/security for arriving ESF- 13 resources. In the event of a crisis and there are not sufficient resources available to respond the State’s governor may solicit through the Attorney General’s office. Other support agencies such as Department of Agriculture (USDA), Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, Department of the Interior, Department of the Treasury, Department of Veteran Affairs, Environment Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Social Security Administration, U. S.
Postal Service, Inspectors General Offices. All other agencies authorities and responsibilities are retained by each entity. This includes resources such as personnel, equipment, facilities, technical assistance, and any other type of support needed. Role of state and local agencies At the State and local levels, agencies’ key role in protecting their critical infrastructure and telecommunications systems.
They also partner with the Federal Government on security-related technologies and research/development. In most incident situations, local jurisdictions have primary authority and responsibility for law enforcement activities, utilizing the Incident Command System (ICS) on scene. Directing on-scene incident management activities is the responsibility of the local incident command structure. Command and control of on-scene incident operations is maintained by this structure. When activated, state emergency operation centers (EOCs) will provide support to the local EOC ensuring first responders have sufficient resources to conduct effective operations. By integrating state with local coordinating structures or the local incident command structure assures successful achievement. Conclusion Assisting Federal, State, Tribal, Local and Territorial law enforcement agencies is the primary mission of Emergency Support Function #13. In the event of a major disaster or terrorist attack may overwhelm an agency when law and order has to be restored after such an event and ESF- 13’s implementation would assist in restoring order.
I discussed ESF-13’s origin, the scope of ESF-13, the participants necessary in this annex, the operational response to major incidents, and the roles necessary at the state and local levels of government when this annex is activated. ESF- 13 is not meant to take the place of or supersede the policies or mutual aid/assistance agreements at any government level. Mission-specific responsibilities of federal agencies retain their rights provided to them by law, regulation, policy, or custom.