[Press.Release] COLORADO MAKES CHANGES TO HOMELAND SECURITY PROGRAMS

press.release at cdps-l.state.co.us press.release at cdps-l.state.co.us
Wed Oct 19 15:26:07 MDT 2011


COLORADO MAKES CHANGES TO HOMELAND SECURITY PROGRAMS
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OCTOBER 19, 2011
CONTACT:  LANCE CLEM, 303-239-4415


The Colorado Department of Public Safety, the Colorado Department of Local Affairs, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Governor's Office of Homeland Security today jointly announce a restructuring of the state's homeland security programs.

As a result of discussions with dozens of local officials throughout the state that began even before Gov. John Hickenlooper took office in January, the Governor's Office of Homeland Security will cease to exist.

Responsibility for coordinating homeland security programs among state agencies and with local planning regions will be moved to the Department of Public Safety (CDPS).

Under the terms of the plan, described in an Executive Order signed this week by Gov. Hickenlooper, CDPS will rename an existing division, using the authority granted to it by the General Assembly nearly 10 years ago. The statute citation is 24-1-107, C.R.S.

The new CDPS division is created from the current Office of Preparedness, Security and Fire Safety. It will be renamed the Division of Homeland Security. Within the newly-named division will be the Office of Preparedness, the Office of Prevention and Security, and the Division of Fire Safety.

The reorganization will result in no added costs to state government and will reduce state-funded positions by three.
The reorganization is designed to:

*       Provide a single office for the coordination of funding and for scheduling homeland security exercise activities. Until the reorganization, exercises had been conducted through at least three separate state agencies, sometimes on overlapping dates.

*       Enable new outreach efforts to local officials, private sector partners, nonprofit organizations and citizens.

*       Establish a single resource for accountability.

*       Create a standardized process for prevention planning.

*       Expand an advisory board to include local and tribal officials, where the former advisory board included only state government officials.

*       Help the public understand the state's security programs.

*       Utilize existing grant management expertise in the Division of Criminal Justice, in the Department of Local Affairs and in the Department of Public Health and Environment to standardize state grant paperwork and management.

*       Provide increased opportunities to meld multiple sources of funding for homeland security programs as funding in current federal programs is reduced.

*       Reduce confusion.
The new structure will consolidate 15 positions within the new Division of Homeland Security, which will be under the direction of Kevin Klein who is currently Director of the Division of Fire Safety. He will report to James H. Davis, Executive Director of the Department of Public Safety.

The grant programs to be moved currently are made through the Governor's Office of Homeland Security. Grant programs in other agencies are not affected.

"This restructuring of homeland security operations is the result of a bottom-up process that included local stakeholder input across every possible discipline vital to emergency management in Colorado," said Reeves Brown, Executive Director of the Department of Local Affairs. " This structure takes into account the strengths each of our agencies brings to ensure Colorado communities are empowered to prepare for, respond to and recover from natural and man-made disasters."

"In the 10 years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, we have seen a number of examples of home-grown terrorism as well as other types of challenges to our state's security. We have met those challenges effectively," said James H. Davis, Executive Director of the Department of Public Safety. "We plan to improve our systems with this restructuring strategy. We will increase the effectiveness of our programs and the accountability of our services. The public will begin to see more information about our programs, and local officials will become equal partners in everything we do."
The changes made by the Executive Order are effective immediately.

--30--
Lance Clem
Public Information Officer
Executive Director's Office
Colorado Department of Public Safety
700 Kipling St.
Lakewood, Colorado 80215
303-239-4415
303-842-9344 (cell)


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