Homeland security to be police responsibility

Once the director of the Hoover Homeland Security Department retires at the end of September, the city will not hire a new director. Instead, all the department’s responsibilities will be turned over to the Hoover Police Department.

The Homeland Security Department is located in the Hoover Public Safety Building on Valleydale Road.

Mayor Tony Petelos said the move was made to save money.

“When you look at our budget, we’re going to have to start streamlining,” Petelos said. “The next two years, financially, will be tough. We will be looking for ways to save money. This is one way we can save money.”

Outgoing director Bob Berry was responsible for coordinating efforts in homeland security and emergency preparedness, as well as helping the city meet training requirements set after Sept. 11, 2001.

Petelos stressed that the department will remain open and those responsibilities will be carried out despite the loss of a director.

“We just thought we’d turn those responsibilities over to one of the police captains,” he said. “They will still do the work and training.”