Sheriff’s office announces appointment of new homeland security coordinator

0
93

Pictured from left to right, Emily Covey and her husband, Ron. Photo submitted by Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office.

Wyo4news Staff, [email protected] [PRESS RELEASE]

SWEETWATER COUNTY, WYOMING — Sweetwater County Sheriff John Grossnickle today announced Governor Mark Gordon’s recent formal appointment of Emily Martinez-Covey as the new Homeland Security Coordinator for Sweetwater County.

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Covey has served with the sheriff’s office for the last four years as an assistant coordinator for emergency management; she assumed the duties of director of emergency management and homeland security coordinator in March, at Grossnickle’s direction, after a recent retirement through the county’s voluntary separation program.

In Sweetwater County, the county sheriff makes a formal recommendation to the board of county commissioners as to whom he or she believes should serve as the county’s homeland security coordinator. The county commissioners then formally nominate that person for the position to the governor’s office, and after an extensive background investigation by the state, the governor then formally appoints the homeland security coordinator. In Wyoming, the law requires that the governor appoint the homeland security coordinator in each of Wyoming’s 23 counties.

Grossnickle said of Covey, “There’s not anyone in my mind who has worked harder to educate herself during her time here on all things emergency management than Emily. In only three short months as director, she has already taken so many important steps to refocus the vision and streamline the efficiency of our emergency management program. I’m very proud of the work she is doing, and I’m confident that the direction she is headed with her new assignment will only better prepare us as a community in the event of a large-scale emergency here in Sweetwater County.”

Covey said of her new assignment, “I’m excited to build on the foundation we’ve laid over the last four years during my time as assistant coordinator. There are so many different things involved with emergency management that, frankly, most people just don’t care about. What people do care about is that they are prepared in the event of an actual emergency, and my mission as director and coordinator is to act as a bridge to help our community in those instances and to educate our residents about how best to prepare themselves for when these things happen.”Among her top priorities, Covey said her focus is on raising awareness about preparedness, fostering active participation among community residents and volunteers, and establishing new partnerships with different stakeholders throughout the county.

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

“Right now, I’ve dedicated my efforts to community outreach through a more robust social media presence and increased visibility of emergency management at different community events throughout the county.” In addition to scheduling and planning for these events, Covey said she is also currently in the process of reaching out to over 150 existing volunteers, updating their contact information, and personally introducing herself. She is also reviewing 15 new volunteer applications that she’s received after a recent push on social media to attract even more volunteers to the many different programs emergency management is involved with at the sheriff’s office and
throughout the community.

Covey added that she is now working with the Red Cross in a new partnership to assist with preparedness awareness and education, as a local resource for sheltering in the event of an emergency, and that she will be involving the Red Cross in a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training that she has planned for the end of the summer.

Sheriff’s office spokesperson, Jason Mower, said, “Recent retirements through the county’s voluntary separation program have afforded us the opportunity to refocus our vision for emergency management and to streamline the efficiency of our response in the event of an actual large-scale emergency here in Sweetwater County.”

Mower explained that reducing the number of paid positions in emergency management saves the county over $70,000 in personnel costs each year and that the sheriff’s office is currently finalizing an agreement among local emergency response and public works agencies that makes use of existing experts and resources throughout the county to respond to these types of incidents.

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

By using existing full-time positions throughout the county to supplement resources as needed in the event of a large-scale emergency situation, Mower said it allows emergency management to focus on strategic planning, training, and the coordination and acquisition of resources while empowering existing first responders throughout the county to do what they do best, which is to take command and man the frontlines.

Grossnickle said, “Doing more with less is not a new mantra for law enforcement and public safety agencies across the country. It’s the new normal, but it’s not always a bad thing. Taxpayer money is not free money, and it’s incumbent upon all of us as elected officials to meet these challenges and remain accountable to those we serve by trying to find creative ways to actually increase effectiveness through efficiency. This minor restructuring allows our emergency management program to focus on acquiring the resources needed in an emergency, to act as liaison between all stakeholders involved and as an official steward of those resources, and it leaves the operational management of these incidents to those who specialize in dealing with these different kinds of emergencies and who are already out there
across the county doing those jobs every day.”

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement