Deputy City Manager Reggie Harrison has been promoted to Director of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications, City Manager Pat West announced today.

Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 11.24.07 AMHarrison, who was appointed deputy city manager in February 2001, will oversee the new department responsible for disaster preparedness, Homeland Security grant coordination and the consolidation and oversight of the city’s Emergency Communications functions.

The department was created by the city council in the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget, and in May 2013, City Manager West assigned Harrison to oversee the department until a formal appointment of a Director was made.

Since then, Harrison worked to develop a state-of-the-art department with a comprehensive training curriculum and strengthening citywide relationships with the education, medical, transportation, non-profit, county, state and federal agencies essential for coordination during a disaster. Harrison also gained national recognition for leading Long Beach to become one of just a handful of cities serving as a beta-site for the testing of early earthquake warning systems in the United States.

“Reggie Harrison is absolutely the right person to lead this Department,” said City Manager West in a statement. “He has years of experience in public safety dispatch, homeland security and disaster preparedness. As Director, he will be well positioned to strengthen the City’s efforts in these areas and complete the complex task of full consolidation of the City’s emergency dispatch functions.”