Shelby County mayor appoints first African-American woman as Office of Preparedness Director

New Director of Office of Preparedness

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris has appointed Brenda Jones as Office of Preparedness Director.

Jones said she's looking forward to sitting in the office at the county complex, off Mullins Station Road.

"I am so excited to be returning to the community to be able to serve the citizens of Shelby county again," said Jones.

The law enforcement veteran has been on the job for two weeks, upon the retirement of former director Dale Lane.

Jones is the first African-American woman to serve as office of preparedness director.

"In any position that I have I think it's very important when you start climbing the career ladder. I think it's very important especially for an African American to reach back and mentor someone coming up," said Jones.

She has had a long career in public service, 28 years with Memphis police.

Jones is rising to be the first female Deputy Chief of MPD, as documented by a 1998 Commercial Appeal article.

From there she spent 14 years at the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security as Law Enforcement Administrator.

Officials flew a flag over the capitol when she retired.

Jones is still a reserve police officer.

"It is a real homecoming because a lot of the people I'm going to have to have relationships and partnerships with I already have them," said Jones.

Jones said she will now get to make more of an impact closer to home.

She aims to increase the number of residents who go through preparedness training, like seminars on active shooter awareness and prevention.

The office of preparedness also takes a leadership role in maintaining safety before and after storms.

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