Arizona votes to create citizen responder corps
| 03.06.2007 | 08:00:44 | Views: 3400 | ID:
March 6 '07: Arizona lawmakers voted recently to create a citizen responder corps much like the National Guard, but with the mission to help local and state first responders during a natural or man-made disaster, the Yuma Sun reported.
The idea of enabling a citizen response unit is not unlike the Responder Corps program developed by the National Council on Readiness and Preparedness to facilitate private and public response capabilities by enhancing pre-existing resources, relationships, and networks.According to the Yuma Sun, the private responder corps would remain under the control and direction of the state's governor and would be able to "respond ... to any natural or human-caused disaster." According to State Senator Jack Harper (R), the citizen corps would also be deployed along the US/Mexico border to help with security as well. The authorization by Congress to give the president the ability to federalize the Army National Guard was cited as one of the reasons for the legislation. During Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco refused to allow President Bush to federalize the National Guard which would have wrenched control of the National Guard from the state and give it to the federal government. State lawmakers said the bill would help improve the local and regional response to any type of disaster by enhancing the capabilities of the already existing emergency management systems. Under the Responder Corps proposal by NCORP, public sector resources could be used as well: those resources would be leveraged against already-existing public resources to augment any type of response.
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