Reply: Yes, absolutely. They already are in some places.
This very question came up recently at a meeting of local government officials, where an ACS official was asked as to who is and isn't in the ACS. It seems that someone in his county was promulgating the idea that REACT is not part of the county ACS.
We realize there are those who want it exclusive, but that does not alter the fact that REACT and/or SKYWARN can be a part of ACS if that is the local decision. Further, that decision is the prerogative of the local government and NOT the local responders. It is the government that determines what constitutes their needs and who shall be a part of the unit, notwithstanding what local groups may try to dictate otherwise. It is as the local official says it is.
Actually in most instances it is a local volunteer leader who makes sure that REACT and/or SKYWARN are welcome. Then, the government official doesn't have to be the determining factor.
Both REACT and SKYWARN units have success records that can equal that of any other group. As to REACT, here is how an emergency response agency manager of a large metropolitian government felt about it: "The REACT participants are more professional than the Amateurs who waste time gabbing about things not relative to the task at hand." That cut to the core of some who heard the remarks, but it was the way he had witnessed those in his jurisdiction. We have too.
There are those who do not realize the professionalism of either REACT or SKYWARN; nor do they know that many REACT participants also hold Amateur radio licensees. Like so much of the country today, once a label is affixed to someone that is as far as it goes in their mind. They let others do the labeling and buy into it without discernment or questioning.
For those readers not familiar with either of those units, you are invited to visit the ACS web page and link to the REACT or SKYWARN page. Or use your local Web browser to go direct to either group's home page.