RealNews

Kulongoski creates homeland security office

The high-level agency, which will be directed by Beverlee Venell, consolidates Oregon’s safety measures. Gov. Ted Kulongoski signed an executive order Tuesday creating the Oregon Office of Homeland Security, where state efforts to fight terrorism and prepare for natural disasters will undergo what he called a needed consolidation. At a morning news conference in Portland, Kulongoski also swore in Beverlee Venell as director of the agency. Aides to the governor said Venell will become one of the governor’s highest-ranking advisers. “If he had a Cabinet, this would be a Cabinet position,” spokeswoman Mary Ellen Glynn said. “It is very high level.” Under the previous system established by former Gov. John Kitzhaber after Sept. 11, 2001, Oregon’s homeland security strategy had different agencies working in tandem, with the primary responsibility resting with the Oregon State Police. Full Story

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