Governor Jim Gibbons today announced that the state is consolidating the Homeland Security function into the Nevada Department of Public Safety. This change will enhance the ability of the State to direct and coordinate an “all-threats, all-hazards” approach in its prevention, preparedness, response and recovery strategies. This consolidation will also provide for a single point of contact allowing for an improved and comprehensive coordination of all of Nevada’s preparedness efforts.
The Department of Public Safety-Division of Emergency Management (DEM) is already serving as the State Administrative Agency (SAA), which has the ultimate responsibility of ensuring that all federal funds expended in the areas of emergency management and homeland security are in compliance with federal financial, program and administrative requirements. In addition, the DEM has the statutory responsibility for emergency management functions related to disasters and other major emergencies. The Department of Public Safety also is currently responsible for the prevention, detection, and deterrence efforts that are managed through the Nevada Threat Analysis Center (State Fusion Center).
Recently, state-level homeland security functions have been folded into public safety agencies nationwide. Data extracted from a FFY09 National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) survey indicate that at least 25 out of 50 states currently have the function of homeland security organizationally located within public safety agencies, and this number is expected to increase in the future.
Anticipated benefits of this consolidation include:
• Cohesive management of all related programs and projects
• Improved coordination between Nevada’s Commission on Homeland Security and state agencies supporting related efforts;
• A central point of contact and coordination with federal, state, local and tribal agencies, and private organizations;
• Improved communication between Nevada and other states allowing for enhanced state-to-state preparedness efforts and coordination of mutual aid efforts.