Other times, the county appears to be competing with itself. There's the Franklin County Department of Homeland Security and Justice Programs. And there's the Franklin County Emergency Management and Homeland Security agency.
Each has its own board and its own office. The homeland security department oversees the big prize: about $4.6 million this year to protect the urban area from terrorism. The emergency management agency got $946,000 in 2007 as part of a statewide grant to all counties.
In Hamilton and Lucas counties, the emergency management agencies control both grants.
"When these grants first came out (after the Sept. 11 attack), tens of millions of dollars dropped in your lap," said Kathy Crandall, director of Homeland Security and Justice Programs. "At that time, EMA was a tornado-sirens, weather and notifying-citizens-of-disasters agency. We were already doing tens of millions in criminal grants."
Both agencies work closely, she said. "It's seamless."