Clean Up How We Handle Emergencies

It would be understandable if the name plaque on Adjutant Gen. James Hoyer’s desk these days reads, “Mr. Fixit.” As head of the West Virginia National Guard, Hoyer was tasked last year with mobilizing a federally-funded program to assist flood victims. With nearly $150 million in federal funds, other arms of state government were dragging their feet on the RISE initiative.

Now it is being suggested the Guard should be given oversight of the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. Many local emergency management officials disagree.

So do we. Hoyer and those under his command have a record of straightening out messes, but the focus on emergency management ought to be finding out what is wrong in the agency and correcting it.

Some personnel changes indicate state officials may have put their fingers on the most severe concerns. Such rebuilding ought to be allowed to run its course before resorting to at least partially militarizing the agency.


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