Resource sharing : building collaboration for regionalization
Reinertson, Susan K.
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The major challenge in securing the homeland is to provide for all citizens effective and capable prevention and responsiveness to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and explosive events. States have different homeland security organizational structures, priorities, funding strategies, and implementation methods. Consequently, the nation lacks a clear, uniform prevention and response strategy that translates into an overall capability that cannot be qualitatively defined. To combat this situation, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has linked future funding to implementation of a holistic approach to homeland security program strategies, which include implementing intrastate and interstate regional approaches that effectively leverage resource sharing. North Dakota responded to funding reductions by addressing its first comprehensive statewide regional plan to develop a more efficient and effective homeland security program; however, actual implementation was not realistic. A tiered approach to sharing resources through regionalization means jurisdictional capability levels will be thoroughly examined and homeland security allocations distributed accordingly. Local jurisdictions in North Dakota exhibit very independent attitudes; instituting regionalization, which changes levels of funding, is controversial. Therefore, it was vital to first devise a plan that determined statewide acceptability for a regional approach. It was also deemed necessary to develop standardized baseline equipment lists corresponding to each of the four levels of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) capability as defined by DHS. The baseline lists provide specific guidance, direction and clarity for equipment purchasing decisions and circumvents the complex and disjointed method currently in use.
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