Police add emergency operations planner

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published April 23, 2014

As Troy Police Department officials continue to look at ways to restructure how they provide services after the deep budget cuts were made in the economic downturn, the department has designated an emergency operations planner position again.

Troy Police Chief Gary Mayer explained that the duties of the emergency operations planner were dispersed among several people when the department made budget cuts through buy-outs to reduce staff.

Emergency Operations Planner Kristin Dayag will work with the Troy Police Department on a part-time basis, for now, as she also continues to work part-time with the Oakland County Homeland Security Division, which develops and coordinates programs for natural, technological, national security and nuclear emergencies/disasters affecting Oakland County.

She works with the Oakland County Community Emergency Response Team on community outreach, helps to secure program grants and organizes damage assessment training.

With the addition of Dayag’s position, the city can qualify for state and federal grant money.

“We’re fortunate to have Kristin,” Mayer said. “We’re comfortable with her skills, knowledge and ability. She knows people in the field.”

Dayag is working toward a Master of Public Administration degree, as well as a certificate in emergency management through the Federal Emergency Management Agency and professional emergency management certification through the state.

Dayag said her job, simply, is to “mitigate for any disasters and large-scale emergencies to minimize property damage, casualties and protect the environment.”

These could include what Dayag described as the “snowpocalypse” this past winter, a hazardous materials release on I-75 and human-caused threats, such as violence in schools, an active shooter and terrorism.   Her job is to formulate plans for different types of threats to ensure there are steps in place to protect critical infrastructure, power grids, and transportation and communication systems.

“My job is to make sure city departments, agencies and staff understand the role they play, keep the city manager apprised, advise the elected officials on policies of preparedness, and work with first responders,” Dayag said.

To that end, the police will have a drill at Somerset Collection April 27 in which Dayag and the police will evaluate, then revise strategies. 

“If you don’t have a plan and you don’t practice things, but are spontaneous, you forget things,” Mayer said. “When you are dealing with people’s lives, that’s not the thing to do. You have to train.”

Dayag’s part-time salary information was not available at press time, and the council will consider her full-time compensation of $50,000-$55,000 as part of the 2014-15 budget.