Shaw takes position with MEMA

Published 10:24 am Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Lafayette County Board of Supervisors made a decision Monday evening that they regretted. The board had to accept the resignation of county Emergency Management Director David Shaw. Not because he’s unhappy with his position, but because Shaw is the new deputy administrator of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency.
Shaw, who has been the county EMA director since 2009, will be assisting other county EMA directors in his new role.

“The job I will be doing is working directly with local emergency management agency personnel to make sure MEMA is doing everything they can to help the counties succeed in emergency management field,” Shaw said. “The director (Lee Smithson) wanted a direct liaison to do that. It’s something that is not being done now so it’s a relatively new job they’ve created.”

Shaw said he was not looking for another job, but had to listen when this opportunity presented itself.

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“I certainly appreciate all the support and the opportunity the board has given me,” Shaw added. “I do not have any complaints. There’s nothing there as a reason for me to take this other job. I’ve been very happy and continue to be up until the time I got that call and had to weigh my options. I thank y’all for the opportunity to serve the people of Lafayette County.”

The supervisors met with Shaw last week in executive session about his job offer and took no action until he accepted the position with MEMA.

A native of Lafayette County and graduate of the University of Mississippi, Shaw

has a long career in public safety. He worked for the Mississippi Highway Patrol for 30 years from July 1979 to June 2009.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Shaw responded immediately to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. There he supervised Mississippi Bureau of Investigation agents in various recovery missions including:

• Search, rescue and recovery operations;

• Forming the Katrina Missing Persons Task Force;

• Supplemented local law enforcement agencies while they recovered from effects of the storm;

• Conducted criminal investigation of incidents directly related to the storm;

• Locating displaced sex offenders;

• Provided security on cruise ship in the Port of Pascagoula which was used to house residents displaced by the storm.

“David’s experience in both state law enforcement and local emergency management makes him the perfect person for this position,” said Smithson.  “His main job will be to support and advise all 82 county emergency managers and the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians to make sure they have the tools and resources they need to make them successful.”

The supervisors appointed county fire coordinator Jerry Johnson as interim county EMA director and he will be working with Shaw until his final day on Oct. 1.