Former Gov. Mitch Daniels' Newsroom

Contact: Jane Jankowski
Phone: 317/232-1622

For Immediate Release: Feb 4, 2005
Governor proposes reorganization of homeland security, emergency management efforts

INDIANAPOLIS (February 4, 2005) ? The state?s emergency management and homeland security efforts would be combined according to a proposal outlined today by Governor Mitch Daniels. Senator Tom Wyss, R-Fort Wayne, will introduce legislation that would effect the realignment and the House sponsor will be Representative William J. ?Bill? Ruppel, R-North Manchester.

?We have good people in our operations but one of the most dysfunctional arrangements in America. We have multiple security plans and no coordinated spending,? said Governor Daniels. ?This reorganization will result in more safety for Hoosiers and at the same time, use our tax dollars more wisely.?

The governor?s plan would reorganize the public safety existing structure into a Department of Homeland Security with four divisions and centralized according to the state?s key homeland security priorities. The four divisions would be the Division of Planning and Assessment, responsible for federal grants; the Division of Preparedness and Training, which includes the Public Safety Training Institute; the Division of Emergency Response and Recovery, which would incorporate the existing State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA); and the Division of Fire and Building Safety, which would include the state fire marshal and the state building commissioner.

?This consolidated structure will create efficiencies, provide better coordination and communication of our certification, inspection, training and planning efforts for emergency management and homeland security,? said Senator Wyss. ?Hoosiers will know the state will be in an even better position to respond to a homeland security emergency.?

Pointing to other needs for reorganization, the governor said that the Counter Terrorism and Security Council (CTASC), which is chaired by the lieutenant governor, is not affiliated with these other agencies and has been given no control over the federal homeland security funds received by the state. With the reorganization, CTASC would be incorporated into the new structure and the new executive director of Homeland Security would also be the director of CTASC.

The governor also said Indiana will make better use of homeland security money. Nearly $7 million has not been used that could have been targeted toward important state projects, such as SAFE-T (Safety Acting for Everyone ? Together), the statewide 800 megahertz communications system, which remains incomplete.

In addition, the state has multiple homeland security plans developed by separate agencies that are done without coordination and have conflicting priorities, and the fire marshal and state building commissioner often perform inspections and plan reviews on the same buildings with no coordination or sharing of resources. Their functions would be consolidated under this plan.

?Our solution is to create one homeland security department led by an executive director who has several functions, including overseeing application and disbursement of federal homeland security money and serving as emergency operations coordinator during a homeland security emergency,? said Ruppel.


Office of the Governor media contact: Jane Jankowski, 317/232-1622