Thursday, November 09, 2006

Phoenix Creates "Local Homeland Security Czar"

Phoenix is doing something interesting: transferring its police chief into a higher-level post that would oversee all of the city's vital homeland security functions. Sort of a "chief of local homeland security":

Phoenix is ratcheting up homeland security efforts by transforming the traditional police chief post into a higher-profile job that consolidates security oversight of aviation, transit, water and emergency operations.

And officials want retiring Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris to fill the newly created position.

Harris essentially would take on responsibility for all aspects of homeland security, not just the Police Department, and he would be tasked with snagging more federal homeland security grants for the city ... Under the new structure, which is unique among Arizona's law enforcement agencies, a traditional police chief would not be hired.
Phoenix's intent seems to be to adopt a centralized model of collaboration. Presumably, all of the agencies will work together better, since they will be under the same boss. The danger is if Harris becomes the single point through which all information flows. That's an inefficient model of information-sharing.

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