City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # CM: 110414
Reggie Harrison Promoted to Director of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications
Debbie Mills, Director of Human Resources

City Manager Pat West announced today that Deputy City Manager Reggie Harrison has been promoted to Director of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Communications.  Mr. Harrison will become the first permanent director of the new department responsible for disaster preparedness, Homeland Security grant coordination, and the consolidation and oversight of the City's Emergency Communications functions.

"Reggie Harrison is absolutely the right person to lead this Department," said City Manager West.  “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.”

The Department was created by the City Council in the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget to implement the consolidation of emergency communication and dispatch services, and to centralize disaster management and preparedness functions in the City. The Department also plays a key role in coordinating and managing the City’s Homeland Security grants, working closely with Police, Fire and all other City Departments to use those funds to strengthen the City’s preparedness and responsive capabilities.  In May 2013, City Manager West assigned Mr. Harrison to oversee the department until a formal appointment of a Director was made.    

Since that time, Mr. Harrison has developed 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.  Further, in April 2014, Mr. Harrison obtained national recognition for his leadership in making Long Beach one of just a handful of cities serving as a beta-site for the testing of early earthquake warning systems in the United States.  Featured on CBS News, PBS and other media outlets, Mr. Harrison’s efforts in securing this innovative technology, once fully developed, will place Long Beach in a unique position to offer residents and businesses several seconds of warning before a major earthquake strikes. 

Mr. Harrison has extensive management experience to oversee this critical citywide function.  He has coordinated the City’s Homeland Security grant program totaling $9 million dollars annually over the past several years.  In both 2005 and 2011, Mr. Harrison led studies of the emergency communications and dispatch center that eventually led to the decision to implement a consolidated dispatch model to improve customer service and achieve greater efficiencies. At full implementation, the Department will include over 90 employees and have an all funds budget of approximately $13 million.

Reginald "Reggie" Harrison was appointed Deputy City Manager of the City of Long Beach in February 2001. Prior to this appointment, Mr. Harrison served as the City's Housing Authority Bureau Manager, Economic Development Bureau Manager and Acting Director of the Community Development Department. In 2010, the City Manager appointed him Acting Director of the Planning and Building Department. Currently he serves as the Acting Director of the Long Beach Airport.   Mr. Harrison also has the benefit of a 25-year military career; he is a retired Lieutenant Colonel, from the California Army National Guard.  Mr. Harrison has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and an undergraduate degree in Psychology. He resides in Long Beach, where he is an active participant in the community and a member of many boards and commissions.