Governor Association report on state homeland security operations
| 04.07.2006 | 07:39:44 | Views: 2902 | ID:
April 7 '06: A report released by the National Governors Association this week looks into state homeland security directors' tasks at coordinating preparedness and communications practices.
The report says that while state homeland security departments continue "to evolve, policymakers remain uncertain about their governance, policies and priorities," because many state homeland security departments - even the "oldest" departments in the country - were not created until after 2000. "At all levels of government," the report read, "homeland security organizations are still in their infancy."The NGA surveyed state and territorial homeland security departments for the report. Of those questioned, 76 percent responded and gave their key issues which included "a lack of state input into federal policy development" as well as top priorities such as pandemic influenza, natural disasters and "interoperability, intelligence and coordination with local agencies." Additionally, the report found that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have left "more than half of the states with a diminished capability to meet responsibilities of state emergency plans," because of lowered National Guard levels. However, greater cooperation among state and local organizations was ongoing and a greater awareness of cross-entity cooperation between the public and private sectors were seen. "Eighty percent of respondents are in the process of coordinating homeland security plans with infrastructure owned by the private sector," the report continued. "For example, more than 50 percent of homeland security directors report coordinating with surrounding states to protect ports, transit systems, agriculture, energy infrastructure, water infrastructure, and public health infrastructure."
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