This article examines the conditions under which local jurisdictions make effective use of U.S. homeland security resources. It analyzes how resources, institutional context, and governance influence local performance on one homeland security policy dimension—communications interoperability. Governance maturity, nested institutions, and the existence of formal rules are key variables affecting the relationship between resources and performance at the local level. Cities with advanced, multilevel, and formal governance arrangements are more effective at using Urban Area Security Initiative funds to improve their interoperability performance. But current policy approaches slight corresponding demands for shared leadership and cross-sector collaborations.