Nevada merges homeland security with public safety dept.

Following a growing national trend in emergency management and preparedness, the state of Nevada has decided to couple its office of Homeland Security with its Department of Public Safety (DPS). The consolidation is expected to improve coordination and communication efforts among state-level agencies related to homeland security programs and projects, officials said.

According to Gov. Gibbons’ office, the change will enhance the state’s ability to execute an “all-threats, all-hazards” approach to emergency management and security threats. DPS already houses the Department of Public Safety-Division of Emergency Management (DEM) who oversees federal funding and administrative requirements related to disasters and other major emergencies. DPS also manages the state’s fusion center, the Nevada Threat Analysis Center, where threat prevention, detection and deterrence efforts are spearheaded.

The consolidation efforts will create a single point of contact and coordination for federal, state, local and tribal agencies in the state, as well as enhance state-to-state preparedness efforts, according to state officials.

In 2009, the National Emergency Management Association (NEMA) indicated that at least twenty-five states currently have the function of homeland security organizationally located within public safety agencies, with the number expected to rise.

There was no indication as to where Rick Eaton, Director of Homeland Security, would fit under the new alignment.