Local governments face a tightening economic bind while struggling to balance obligations to protect their communities. As populations change and hazards expand, they confront a mounting number of threats while trying to maintain basic services. This article examines demands and constraints that are placed on government agencies in providing public safety and public health services. The authors recommend building interagency cooperation to maximize the utility of existing staff and resources. These distributed systems increase the flexibility and resilience of the community as well as the cooperating organizations. It is a paradigm shift from organization-centric thinking toward a coordinated effort to build resilience for the whole community. © 2012 SAGE Publications.
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