|Written by Greg Ruland|
|Wednesday, 11 January 2012 00:00|
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer asked Cottonwood Police Department Police Chief Jody Fanning to help locate funds for the state’s top homeland security needs as the newest at-large member of the Arizona Department of Homeland Security Western Regional Advisory Council.
Cottonwood Police Department announced the appointment Thursday, Dec. 29. Fanning will serve a three-year term.
“I’m excited for the opportunity,” Fanning said Friday, Dec. 30. “I’m proud I was given this chance and I’m excited to see what I can do to help.”
The commission decides what equipment, systems or personnel are needed to keep Mojave, Yavapai and La Paz counties safe from terrorism and other homeland security threats, according to the agency’s website.
If Fanning gets his way, upgrades to county communications systems, meaning new software and hardware to make complete “interoperability” between and among all emergency response organizations.
Mass casualty events such as the sweat lodge incident at Angel Valley Retreat Center show that more than 10 years since 9/11, state, county and local emergency responders are unable to connect and coordinate during emergencies.
Federal grants make upgrades to communications systems in all three counties possible, Fanning said.
Each commission is made up of at least two firefighters, one police chief, one mayor, one tribal government official, one county supervisor, four at-large members, and members from the Arizona Department of Public Safety and county public health.
His background and training with the FBI was a key factor in his appointment, as was his membership in several professional and fraternal organizations, Fanning said.
He originally sought appointment as the commission’s local law enforcement official, but that distinction went to Prescott Valley Police Chief Bill Fessler.
Fessler was appointed chief in August of 2011. Previous to his appointment as chief, Fessler served as a narcotics detective. His law enforcement career started with Phoenix Police Department in 1998.
Chief of Cottonwood Police since 2008, Fanning worked his way to the top of the department by going through all the ranks, the first chief to do so.
A 1986 graduate of Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy, Fanning is also an alumnus of FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.
Fanning serves in an association that develops and supports rural leadership and management skills. He is also a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Arizona Chiefs of Police, and the Arizona Chapter of the FBI National Academy.
Arizona was one of the first states to develop a regional approach to homeland security. Identifying resources and needs at regional levels avoids duplicative purchases and makes the best use of limited federal funding, according to the regional commission’s official website.
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