Midland Empire Sheriff`s departments take a big step in covering the region`s homeland security efforts. Fifteen counties will now be represented at regional homeland security meeting with one unified voice. The departments selected Buchanan County Sheriff Mike Strong serve as their spokeperson. It`s a move that will keep local law enforcement in the loop on a statewide level. "You want to have local input on the planning process, not only for the expenditure of funds, but to make sure you`re considering all of the various factors that are involved in homeland security," said Joe Easton, Buchanan County Sheriff`s Department. Atchison County Sheriff Dennis Martin was named as an alternate spokesperson for the region.