The Baldwin County Emergency Management Agency will be without a permanent director for a while, at least through hurricane season. Last year, the Gulf Coast saw the most active season since Hurricane Katrina.
On Tuesday, former EMA Director Reggie Chitwood, resigned because of personnel conflicts. Deputy Director Jessie Peacock has been named acting director, but didn't want to talk on camera until everything is official. We're told that won't be until Tuesday, and a permanent director won't be appointed until November.
We all remember it; last year's very active hurricane season not only rocked the Port City during Hurricane Nate, but also caused widespread devastation in neighboring states. As we creep closer to yet another possibly active season, the Baldwin County Emergency Management Agency will be without a director. With that in mind, County Commissioner Chris Elliott, introduced Deputy Director Jessie Peacock as the new stand-in leader of the EMA at the Baldwin County fire chiefs meeting Thursday night, two days after the sudden resignation of former director Reggie Chitwood.
"It was Reggie's decision to resign. Reggie's a great guy. Reggie's a friend of mine. And we're gonna miss him around here. And he has done such a fantastic job getting this emergency management system to where it is," said Elliott. His message to Baldwin County residents: "We got this, you're in good hands, you're safe."
Some fire chiefs, like Elliott, say the agency is already a well-oiled machine, and won't skip a beat during this hurricane season.
"We have a great continuity of operations plan. So just because we done have a director doesn't mean we don't have a very competent capable assistant director that is here and a great competent staff that's here to really handle things should a problem arise," said Elliott.
We're told Peacock will be in the interim role until the new county commission is elected in November. Elliott says the current commissioners think it's best if the new commission chooses the next director.
Chitwood was the EMA director since 2015 and served as deputy director three years before that.
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