Texas Homeland Security: Trust, Communication, And Effective Working Relationships Between Regional Coordinators And Local Respondents
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Policy implementation and intergovernmental relationships are most often examined from a federal/state perspective. This research, however, focuses on the effectiveness of working relationships between the two lower-levels of state government (i.e. regional and local jurisdictions) who implement homeland security policies in Texas. Using elite interviews conducted with the principal homeland security officials from the regional Councils of Governments and survey responses from chiefs of police across the state, this study seeks to identify what environmental, agency, and individual characteristics are associated with effective working relationships between these lower-levels of state government. Texas chose to integrate the implementation of its homeland security policies into the state's existing regional structures. There have, however, been no attempts to examine the effectiveness of the working relationships between the agencies that actually implement these policies. This study maintains that the effectiveness of these relationships could have an impact on the success of these policies and that it is, therefore, important to examine their relationships in order to facilitate an understanding about the context in which these policies are implemented. In addition, understanding the working relationships between these two groups could provide insight into how first response agencies in Texas might perform in a crisis situation. Since much of the federal legislation is implemented at the local level, taking into account the experiences of those who actually implement the programs might also improve the ways in which policies are designed and carried out.