Gov. Stitt Consolidates Homeland Security Locations
Mike Seals - August 20, 2020 11:06 am
OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt has issued an executive order, asking the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security to consolidate locations with the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.
“After due consideration and consultation with members of my Cabinet, and employees and administrative officials at the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security and the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, I have determined that, in order to create operating efficiencies and better use taxpayer dollars, OOHS should be transferred to and located at OEM,” said Gov. Stitt. “By co-locating these two agencies, we will bolster response capabilities, streamline coordination and leverage existing resources for stronger prevention programs and more effective operations.”
Officials say the consolidation should happen by Sept. 1.
“OEM has worked closely with our partners at the Oklahoma Office of Homeland Security since the office was first formed in 2002,” said OEM Director Mark Gower. “Combining our agencies and missions will not only provide for increased coordination and efficiency, but also enhance the state’s ability to prepare for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate against both natural and manmade disasters.”
“This Executive Order starts changes that have been discussed for many years in Oklahoma,” said Kim Carter, Director of OOHS, who is retiring after over 35 combined years of dedicated service to the State of Oklahoma. “Over half of the states in the US have a single agency that combines their Emergency Management and Homeland Security functions, and even though they are distinct disciplines, they have a common mission to protect citizens. I think this should be seen as a positive move for the State of Oklahoma.”