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Posted on: April 10, 2017

City Selects New Public Safety Manager

The City has selected Susan Dueñas as its Public Safety Manager, a newly-created position that is part of a more comprehensive approach to public safety and emergency management. Dueñas will be introduced to the community during the City Council meeting of Monday, April 24, her first day in her new role with the City.

In January 2017, the City Council approved the new job specification of Public Safety Manager to incorporate a broader range of responsibilities and skills needed to address the City’s complex and constantly expanding public safety needs. The Public Safety Manager’s duties include some of the duties of the previously-established Emergency Services Coordinator but will also include higher level management responsibilities.

“Malibu is vulnerable to many types of emergencies, from wildfires and floods to earthquakes and mudslides, as well as a variety of public safety challenges, so the newly expanded role of the Public Safety Manager is crucial,” said Mayor Lou La Monte. “Susan Dueñas brings deep expertise in every facet of emergency and public safety management, which is what we need to take Malibu’s preparedness to the next level.”

The Public Safety Manager will coordinate with outside agencies on all public safety and emergency preparedness matters, train staff on emergency protocols, oversee the City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), manage the City’s emergency and public safety volunteers, including CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), interact with the community, and serve as part of the City Manager’s management team.

Dueñas has over 20 years of experience in leadership of emergency management with city and county government agencies. She has led large EOCs during major emergencies, including wildfires and storms in Southern California. She has vast experience developing and executing training for government staff and leaders, police and fire personnel, volunteers and citizens, and has managed multi-million dollar budgets and grants.

She also has years of experience in training and leading CERT programs, which is a critical element of Malibu’s emergency preparedness. Dueñas will immediately start overseeing and coordinating CERT trainings and activities, as well as first aid and other trainings for residents, which will be announced on the City website and social media.

As Public Safety Manager, Dueñas will coordinate with LASD to establish the new 5,000 square-foot LASD substation that will be part of the upcoming Santa Monica College campus project in the Civic Center to ensure it is most effective for the Malibu community.

As part of the City’s shift to a more integrated approach to emergency and public safety management, the City Manager created a satellite office in City Hall for Sheriff's deputies and Volunteers on Patrol (VOPs) in July 2016. The satellite office offers a working space for the deputies and VOPs to write reports, store equipment, and charge radios and other devices used while on patrol in Malibu, activities that previously had to be done at the Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station in Agoura Hills.

Dueñas previously served as the Emergency Services Manager for the City of Oxnard where she developed the City’s emergency plans, maintained the EOC, trained members of the EOC and senior city leadership, coordinated emergency planning between the city, the local school board, neighboring jurisdictions, utilities, Red Cross, and other government agencies, and managed and trained the city’s CERT team.

She also developed and implemented disaster training for Oxnard residents, businesses, and community groups, managed Homeland Security and Emergency Management Performance Grants, managed the city’s emergency alert system, coordinated all city disaster relief claims to the state and federal government, and conducted online public outreach on multiple platforms.

Prior to the City of Oxnard, she served as Senior Program Administrator for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services from 1999 to 2013 where she managed the county’s Homeland Security programs, and oversaw a variety of multi-million dollar grant programs. There she oversaw numerous major EOC activations, including the 2013 Springs Fire, 2007 Zaca Fire, 2006 Day Fire, 2006 Simi Fire, 2006 winter storm, 2005 winter storm, the 2005 La Conchita landslide, and the 2000 Alaska Airlines Flight 261 crash.

From 1996 to 1999, Dueñas was the Disaster Preparedness Coordinator for the City of El Segundo Fire Department, where she administered the city’s Emergency Management Program, including overseeing all planning and training in emergency management, response, and recovery. She oversaw emergency management training for all city, fire, and police personnel, developed the city’s emergency plan, and worked with all departments to develop a disaster recovery plan. She implemented the city’s CERT program, and managed disaster assistance grants.

Dueñas also worked at the City of West Hollywood from 1990 to 1996, serving as the Neighborhood Services Specialist, and ending as the administrator of the city’s Crime Prevention Program. There she implemented crime prevention strategies and facilitated the resolution of various neighborhood safety and nuisance issues, including drug dealers, transients, and noise complaints.

She has extensive FEMA emergency management training and certification, including National Response Framework, Multi-Agency Coordination System, National Incident Management System (NIMS) Public Information Systems, NIMS Resource Management, NIMS Communications and Information Management, Instructor Train-the-Trainer (TTT), EOC Management, Disaster Recovery, FEMA Public Assistance, Emergency Management Earthquake, and many others.

She has served on the boards of several professional associations including the Southern California Emergency Services Association, and has served as Director of the National Grants Management Association Board.

Dueñas has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Public Relations, and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from California State University at Long Beach, and is a Certified Grants Management Specialist. Dueñas was accepted to the Harvard Kennedy School Executive Leadership in Crisis program, which she will attend in 2018.
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