Magazine article Security Management

The Politics of Homeland Security

Magazine article Security Management

The Politics of Homeland Security

Article excerpt

They say that all politics is local. The same can be said for homeland security. It is the local and state officials, not federal agents, who will likely be the first to respond to a terrorist attack. That makes efforts at these levels critical. In an attempt to determine whether local and state officials are adequately preparing for such a response, the Senate's Committee on Governmental Affairs recently heard testimony from four local and state officials with major responsibilities in homeland security.

Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney told the subcommittee that, as one of two "co-lead governors" on homeland security issues (the other is Ruth Ann Minner of Delaware), he will be surveying U.S. governors about the security issues they deem most critical, the implementation obstacles they foresee, their funding challenges, and the types of nonmonetary assistance they will need from the Department of Homeland Security.

Romney used the example of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics (for which he served as president of the organizing committee) as a "model for an integrated, comprehensive public safety plan." In that case, federal, state, and local governments along with the Olympic organizing committee jointly developed a single plan instead of individual ones. Participants then "identified all the resources each had to put towards carrying out the missions."

Based on that model, Massachusetts has been developing its own integrated plan, Romney testified. …

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