Chris Pickering addresses the audience at his introduction as the new state Homeland Security Coordinator, as Governor Jay Nixon and others look on.

In an event at the State Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Operations Center at Jefferson City, Governor Jay Nixon introduced Chris Pickering as the new Coordinator of Homeland Security for the state.

Pickering lives in California, Missouri. He has worked as the Inspector General for the Missouri Department of Corrections, chief investigator for the Public Safety Division of the Attorney General’s Office, police officer in Clinton, Missouri and Leawood, Kansas, and Director of the Law Enforcement Training Center at Moberly Area Community College. He holds a degree in criminal justice from the University of Central Missouri.

Pickering told the crowd at his introduction today he has spent the last month working with his predecessor, the retiring Paul Fennewald. The two traveled around Missouri meeting with local and regional homeland security partners. He says, “These relationships with our local partners with our local partners are key to our success in those homeland security regions.”

The Governor said in introducing his choice that it was important to select someone that could lead a dynamic team of emergency responders across the state. “When I learned that Missouri’s respected Homeland Security Coordinator Paul Fennewald was retiring, I wanted to make sure we had an extremely capable person to fill that role.” He said to Fennewald, who was at the announcement, “…you have left big shoes to fill and all of Missouri appreciates what you have done and the solid foundation you have laid in this office. I am confident, however, that we have a person to do that in Chris Pickering.”