Gov. Rounds names new homeland security coordinator

Gov. Rounds names new homeland security coordinator Governor Mike Rounds has named John Berheim as his new homeland security coordinator in the Department of Public Safety.

"John's experience and training as the state emergency management director, as well as his training as a highway patrolman, provide a critical skill set necessary to assume the duty of homeland security coordinator," said Gov. Rounds.

This position is an integral component to the newly created Department of Public Safety which was created during Gov. Rounds' governmental reorganization.

According to Tom Dravland, secretary, Department of Public Safety, Berheim is the right selection.

"The vision of our department is to provide the command and control, coordination, communication and information. John has the experience to serve the first response community with all of these tools, he said."

As the homeland security coordinator, Berheim will oversee the tasks related to protecting the citizens of South Dakota. Berheim assumed his new duties on March 24.

Berheim replaces Deb Bowman who was the state's first homeland security coordinator. She was assigned the duties by then Gov. Janklow after the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

"Deb has done a great job working with multiple entities, developing plans to protect our citizens in the event of an attack" said Gov. Rounds.

Bowman is staying on the governor's staff, serving as a senior policy advisor on health and human services issues.

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