In the news: Shumeane L. Benford
Shumeane L. Benford has been appointed the City of Boston’s new chief of the Office of Emergency Management. As chief, Benford will have have direct oversight of the office’s emergency planning, training and exercise programs, and manage relationships with regional, state, and federal homeland security partners.
“Shumeane has proven over his career that he is a leader who develops a strategic plan, works with the community and delivers positive results,” said Mayor Martin Walsh. “I am proud he will be leading Boston’s Office of Emergency Management, an office that helps keep our city safe. I look forward to Shumeane beginning his new role and leading this important department.”
Working in close partnership with Boston’s other public safety and public health agencies, the Boston Office of Emergency Management plans, prepares and responds to emergencies, educates the public about emergency preparedness, conducts training exercises and drills, and supports the City’s preparedness. OEM also manages the Boston Emergency Operations Center, which facilitates planning and aid in the aftermath of a disaster and is activated during large-scale, citywide events.
“Throughout my career, I have focused on creating a safe, stable city for all residents and I’m excited to begin this role at the Office of Emergency Management,” said Benford. “From my work at the Boston Police Department, to my work at the Boston Public Health Commission, the well-being of
Boston residents has always been my top priority. I thank Mayor Walsh for this opportunity and can’t wait to get started.”
Benford is a veteran Boston Police Officer, with nearly 25 years of law enforcement experience, including serving in the Boston Police Academy, Recruit Investigations, and the Office of the Police Commissioner. Benford most recently served as deputy chief of the Boston Public Health Commission police, where he led reforms in fiscal accountability, operational reforms, and instituted best practices in policing to include community policing. At BPHC, Benford also led the design and creation of a new
Public Safety Operations Center.
Benford is a lifelong City of Boston resident, and received his Master’s Degree from Suffolk University, and his BA from Curry College. Benford is an adjunct professor at Roxbury Community College, and lives in Dorchester with his family.
OEM has continued to be a leader in emergency preparedness. In 2017, OEM received reaccreditation through the Emergency Management Accreditation Program (EMAP). EMAP is a comprehensive program that evaluates the City of Boston’s Emergency Management program across 64 standards that address all aspects of Emergency Management.
In 2016, the City of Boston and the Metro Boston Homeland Security Region (MBHSR) received $17.7 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security through the Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant program. The UASI program funding addresses the unique multi-disciplinary planning, organization, equipment, training and exercise needs of high-threat, high-density urban areas, and assists them in building capabilities to prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from threats or acts of terrorism. That same year, OEM also launched Boston’s “situational awareness” tool to coordinate operations and increase public safety measures during emergency and large-scale special events. This map-based tool is used in the Emergency Operations Center and the public safety departments, allowing public safety officials to stay better informed about what’s happening on the ground during an emergency or special event.