News

Tensions emerge among homeland security agencies

California’s two principal agencies involved in handling natural and
man-made disasters are experiencing tensions and growing pains, partly
because local and regional officials are irked at the expanding clout of the
state Office of Homeland Security.

On the surface, and at the highest levels, the relationship between the
Office of Homeland Security and the Office of Emergency Services couldn’t be
better. OHS Director Matt Bettenhausen and OES Director Henry Renteria
appear together at hearings, and cooperate formally, and informally, with
each other. They keep their lines of communication open–and so do their top
staffs.

“They have gone out of their way to keep the public face positive,” said one
legislative staffer familiar with the both agencies. Another says
Bettenhausen, who outranks Renteria in the state’s official organizational
flow chart, goes out of his way to “make sure Renteria is always in the
loop.”

“The cooperation between our two entities at the management level is very
high,” said Gary Winuk, chief deputy director of OHS.

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