Interagency collaboration challenges among homeland security disciplines in urban areas
Hagen, Jerome D.
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First responders have struggled to incorporate strategic direction provided by the federal government into their existing plans. An urgent call for teamwork and cooperation has changed the landscape for America's first responders. They have been required to shoulder new responsibilities and become more networked and interactive with their peer disciplines to achieve higher levels of performance and response capability. This thesis examines interactions among four key homeland security disciplines in the Seattle, Washington urban area. It evaluates how fire service, law enforcement, emergency management, and public health organizations have used federal government guidance and programs to prepare for catastrophic terrorism response. Specifically, it describes how the homeland security roles, organizational cultures, and collaboration challenges currently facing local public safety agencies have impacted the urban area environment. Based on findings from local and national inquiries, it explains how the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the National Planning Scenarios (NPS) have impacted interagency collaboration. This study provides a detailed description of the homeland security environment from the inside by identifying challenges facing first responders and the strengths and gaps in their relationships. Finally, it offers positive policy recommendations to Seattle area public safety executives for increasing interagency cooperation in the urban area.
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