Columbus Mayor announces new Homeland Security Director - WRBL

Columbus Mayor announces new Homeland Security Director

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Mayor Teresa Tomlinson has announced a new director and some new changes for the Columbus office of Homeland Security. The Homeland security council will consist of 7 city agencies including the fire and police departments. The newly appointed Homeland Security director says the creation of the council protects citizens as the agency evolves.

"It's more of an all hazards type of organization now," said Robert Futrell, the newly appointed Homeland Security Director.

Futrell says the changes in the agency make it necessary for them to work with several other agencies when preparing for disasters.

"It doesn't just look at Homeland Security or Emergency Management. We'll tie them together," said Futrell.

The council consists of 7 Columbus Agencies including the Hazards Devices Response Team, a Fire and EMS representatives, a Police Department Representative, the Emergency Management Director, a Sheriff's Office representative, a Marshal's Office representative, and the City Manager Representative.

"This council is looking to see what we can do not only to prevent an incident but how we can respond if it happens and how to mitigate it once it does happen if it's out of our control," said Futrell.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson says after the winter ice storms that froze parts of Alabama and Georgia, they decided they needed to be ready for anything.

"I think a higher level of coordination, a broader scope of what Homeland Security is about will assist that," said Mayor Teresa Tomlinson.

The council will also oversee 3 different committees. The Grant Committee will try to maximize grant money for our region. The Intelligence Committee will share sensitive information with out agencies around the area to keep citizens of Columbus safe. Also, the Critical Infrastructure Committee is designed to consult public and private stakeholders like the school district and Georgia Power during emergency situations.

"We want to make sure that no matter what issue may come up that we can maintain continuity of business for all of our stake holders here in Columbus," said Mayor Tomlinson.

Columbus also has a number of mutual aid agreements with agencies across the Chattahoochee Valley. The council will assist with emergencies in Muscogee and surrounding counties.

Naomi Keitt

Naomi Keitt focuses on education reporting for WRBL News 3. More>>

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