Breaking the Bureaucratic Cycle: An Alternate Michigan Homeland Security Program
In this project, I will argue that the State of Michigan's homeland security program suffers from some bureaucratic problems that hamper life-saving efforts, and they need to be addressed quickly. Specifically, the current system suffers from the following three critical problems: redundancies, red tape, and turf wars. First, the redundancies that exist in the system obstruct the ability of management to effectively make decisions that guide homeland security. Second, red tape is found in the procedures that fire and police departments use to purchase equipment in the state. In an emergency setting, it is essential that the agencies possess professional-quality equipment in order to save as many lives as possible. Finally, turf wars inhibit the ability of one municipality to respond to an emergency. Turf wars at their worst inhibit cooperation in a serious emergency. In this Senior Individualized Project, I propose an alternate model of Michigan homeland security, based on geographic-area districts. These districts would be able to respond to a terrorist attack in groups. This system is based on geographical and population factors. In this manner, the current bureaucratic problems that have taken control of Michigan's homeland security program will diminish. The area-based districts will be able to specialize in the type of attack that is most likely in that particular area. Busy urban areas would be protected by officials trained in homeland security officials in cities, and the quiet fields of Northern Michigan would be protected by agents who are trained in items such as agricultural and water quality safety. This project is structured as an analysis of a problem, as well as its potential solution. Chapter II will examine the existing literature of the bureaucratic issues of redundancies, red tape, and turf wars. Before I critique the system of Michigan's homeland security, it is crucial to understand theoretical and empirical knowledge of how bureaucracies operate. Chapter III examines the relation of the bureaucratic issues examined in Chapter II, and applies this theoretical knowledge to the case of Michigan's homeland security program. I will discuss red tape delays that the Michigan Office of the Auditor General identified in their 2005 audit of the homeland security system. I will study the lack of cooperation between municipalities in the distribution of funds to address homeland security concerns. Combined, these problems seriously endanger efforts to protect Michigan's homeland security. Chapter IV presents my proposal of Homeland Security Districts. In addition to stating the advantages of such a system, I also address the various reasons that the State of Michigan has not adopted such a system. One reason I conclude is that Michigan hasn't experienced a large~scale terrorist attack or natural disaster that would lead to homeland security reform. Before arriving at that point, however, it is important to understand the history of various bureaucratic problems in the past.