Az. Takes Regional Approach To Homeland Security


Arizona is one of the first states to take a regional approach to homeland security, says the Arizona Republic. Advocates say the move will speed funds to set up programs to detect terrorist activities and equip the emergency crews who would respond to them. “It’s a pretty revolutionary change from the way we’ve done business,” said John Phelps, deputy director of the Arizona Office of Homeland Security. “In the past, each government entity was left to its own devices. Cities, counties, tribes developed their own plans, not necessarily (consistent) with their neighbors.”

The approach is expected to forge cooperation between communities and cut delays in getting money into the hands of public-safety agencies. “It’s forced everyone to train together, plan together and look at the overall needs of the region versus their individual needs,” said Julie Pendergast, executive officer of Glendale’s Office of Homeland Security. Rather than doling out a certain cut of the money to each of the state’s 15 counties, funds will be used “to do the most good for the most people,” said Glendale Mayor Elaine Scruggs, a member of one regional council. “Instead of every city, county, town, and tribe coming up with the resources to field a bomb squad, for instance,” said one official, “maybe you acquire a bomb squad within each of the five regions.”


Comments are closed.