William Barnes



Mission Statement

To enhance the safety and security of Cook County and its residents by working to build capacity to prevent, protect against, mitigate the effects of, respond to and recover from all incidents, whether man-made and/or natural.


Federal – Stafford Act: 42 U.S.C. - § 5121-5208 Mandates Stateand Local Governments to create Emergency Management capabilities.State – Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act, 20 ILCS 3305:Every County must maintain an accredited Emergency Management Agency (EMA);Further, 29 IL. Adm. Code 301 requires an Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) foraccreditation. County – per the Code of Ordinance of Cook County Chapter 26,Article II, Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) isto coordinate the efforts of the County to develop, plan, analyze, conduct,provide, implement and maintain programs for disaster mitigation, preparedness,response and recovery within the County and with private organizations, otherpolitical subdivisions, the State and federal governments, established pursuantto Section 10 of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) Act (20 ILCS3305/10).

Key Activities and Services

  • Provides emergency response to local, state, and federal Law Enforcement, Fire, Public Works and Emergency Management partners from an all hazards perspective, including man-made and natural disasters
  • Initiates a traditional Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP)/ Continuity of Government Plan (COG) planning process incorporating all other elements of County Government
  • Develops an Executive Concept of Operations Annex for Immediate Operational Execution focused solely on the Office of the County Board President and the County Board of Commissioners in the event of a catastrophic incident
  • Maintains and manages information management systems including WebEOC and Weather Notification System and ensures availability of these systems to all Cook County municipalities, public and private sector partners, and all other state agencies
  • Provides Cook County Cyber security Threat Intelligence Grid (CCCTIG) to Cook County municipalities
  • Manages “If You See Something, Say Something”™anti-terrorism campaign
  • Conducts full-scale exercises, functional exercises, tabletop exercises as well as lectures and coordinates training for Cook County first responders
  • Conducts Leading Through Crisis Training for Cook County municipal mayors and managers

Discussion of 2017 Department and Program Outcomes

The Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management continues to implement a variety of initiatives to better prepare all 5.2 million residents and the 134 municipalities in Cook County for emergencies or disasters that might impact this area. The Department remains committed to enhancing its operational and logistical capabilities that allow the Department to more effectively assist first responders and local jurisdictions during various incidents as well as the combined ability to prepare for and respond to potential and actual natural and man-made disasters. Expansion of the Department’s training and exercise programs continues with the ongoing development of cyber security initiatives through both training and improvement of the County’s infrastructure.

In FY2017, the Department developed several new and more insightful performance indicators that better reflect its key activities. As a result, a comparison of prior year performance is not available; the performance data chart presents Department measures over the six month period beginning January 2017 through June 2017 for the two key areas the Department would like to highlight-- training and exercises and cyber security activities.

The Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management’straining and exercise programs are nationally recognized. Unfortunately during FY2017, the Department’straining and exercise programs were temporarily curtailed as indicated by the lower number of first responders trained between January 2017 and June 2017. Beginning with the last quarter of FY2017,these programs will recommence. The FY2018 target for this performance indicator will be 6,000 which restores the number of first responders trained to levels achieved in FY2016.

Nationwide, cyber security is an increasing concern for both the public and private sectors. During the May 2017 and June 2017 global cyber-attacks, the Department’s Information Security (ISO) program saw the number of inquiries posed to their office almost double from typical volumes for those months. As Information Security continues its outreach efforts for municipalities to join the Cook County Threat Intelligence Grid, these statistics are anticipated to increase.

Budget, Cost Analysis and 2018 Strategic Initiatives and Goals

The Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management focuses on five program areas, Administration, Finance, Operations, Information Security, and Communications. As implied by their titles, Administration and Finance supports the management of the Department’s overall operations. The activities of the Operations, Information Security, and Communications programs provide the services most visible to County residents and municipalities through the Department’s responses to incidents, training courses and exercises for first responders, preventive measures and monitoring against cyber-attacks, and awareness campaigns for residents.

The Department receives the majority of its funding from federal grant programs which the Department has applied for and worked diligently to maintain over the years. However, access to grant funding has become increasingly competitive with award amounts that have begun to decline.

In addition, while past grant funding has supported the Department for all types of hazards, recent changes have restricted the use of the funding to support only terrorist-related prevention,response and recovery activities. Consequently, for FY 2018, funding for non-terrorist-related activities has shifted to limited corporate funds. This includes the shifting of portions of staff salaries and fringe benefits, as well as critical all hazards-related contract costs.