Governors create Homeland Security Advisors Council
| 06.01.2006 | 06:36:43 | Views: 2611 | ID:
June 1 '06: The nation's governors are creating the Homeland Security Advisors Council to help create a common voice among states when it comes to helping the nation prepare for national disasters and terrorists threats, the Associated Press reported Thursday. A focus of the new organization will be to help clarify the relationship between the federal and state governments and the problems between them "that predate the 2002 creation of the US Department of Homeland Security, from intelligence to funding to sharing National Guard resources," the AP continued.
The council will "work through the National Governors Association, with each governor appointing a top security official ... The council plans to meet at least twice a year to share best practices and improve interstate communications."In the Department of Homeland Security, there is a similar structure called the Homeland Security Advisory Council which "provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary on matters related to homeland security. The Council is comprised of leaders from state and local government, first responder communities, the private sector, and academia," the department's web site read. However, proponents of the governors' council say that "there's no consistent, in-depth communication between the federal DHS and its state counterparts," the AP paraphrased Maj. Gen. Tim Lowenberg, the head of the Washington National Guard, and the director of that state's emergency management division: "We do have periodic conference calls hosted by the Department of Homeland Security," Lowenberg told the AP. But, "[t]hose conference calls rarely last more than 30, 45 minutes." One official from the department told the AP, the relationship between the federal government with state and local counterparts is an ever-evolving relationship that federal officials are trying to improve. Officials in DHS say greater cooperation ahead of the 2006 hurricane season is one way that the federal government is working to help tackle mitigation response to a large disaster or emergency.
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