911 Commission narrows executive director applicants to five

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The 911 Communications District has created their short list for an executive director. Current Director Willis Carter tendered his resignation in the final quarter of 2020. He will exit the position the end of June. Carter is active in the search for his replacement to ensure the District brings “someone on board that can continue to move 911 forward in this parish.” Carter and commission, consisting of law enforcement, local government and emergency responder stakeholders had a vision over a decade ago to create the NATCOM center, have it debt free and bring together all entities for a better 911 system for the residents of the parish.

That goal was accomplished.

Now, because most 911 systems were originally built using analog rather than digital technologies, public safety answering points (PSAPs) across the country need to be upgraded to a digital or Internet Protocol (IP)-based 911 system, commonly referred to as Next Generation 911 (NG911). The new director will need to lead the commission forward with this, and other endeavors.

This article published in the Thursday, April 8, 2021, print edition

A nationwide search via print and internet ads as well as trade publications resulted in 21 applicants from Illinois, Florida, Virginia, Minnesota, Missouri and across Louisiana. The hiring committee has narrowed the list to five semi-finalists. That will be further cut to three finalists as discussions continue this week. The entire 911 Commission will interview the three finalists in person.

The short list for the position includes, in alphabetical order, Bernard J. Brown of Danville, Va., not employed; Cindra Dunaway of Florida, Chief Public Safety Officer, Angelia, Inc.; Lamarr McGaskey, of Natchitoches, Deputy, Natchitoches Parish Homeland Security; Anthony Summers of Port Allen, Assistant Director, Baton Rouge Office of Emergency Management; and Kim Tolliver of Shreveport, Chief of Communications, Shreveport Fire Department.

Willis Carter
911 Communications District Executive Director

Those not making the cut include John Berna of Denham Springs, Asset Manager (owner), John H. Carter Company; Katelyn Blanchard of Campti, teller, BOM; Gabriel Boedecker of Kansas, Ill., Communications Training Officer, Coles-Moultrie 911; Robert Brown, Shreveport, Maintenance Engineer, Sabine Medical Center; Kyle Gaspard, Abbeville, Training Coordinator/Relief Supervisor, Vermillion Parish Communication District; Mason Harper, Goldonna, on air morning show, Baldridge Dumas Communications; Jonice Kirts, Natchitoches, Lieutenant, Winfield Corrections; Craig Moran, Natchitoches, Retired; Wayne Morris, Nursing Home Administrator, Pineville; James Parker, Petersburg, Fla., Senior Lost and Found/Evidence Coordinator, Tampa International Airport Police Department; Ken Poleman, Natchitoches, Quality Control Analyst, ADA Carbon Solutions; Irma Reyes, Spring Valley, Minn., Service Director and diesel gas tech; John Shearman, Springfield, Mo., self-employed, Consultant to Public Safety; RyNita Smith, Leesville, Paralegal/Legal Assistant, Law Office of Elvin Fontenot Jr.; Scott Stetson, Natchitoches, Deputy Site Manager, Fort Polk; and John Thompson, Haughton, Chiropractic Physician, Retired.