Turner names HPD veteran Buenik as city’s Homeland Security Chief

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner speaks with the media during a business forum in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. The forum was attended by business representatives from Houston and Havana, to explore opportunities in areas of health, sports, energy, commerce and art, according to local state-run media Cubadebate. (Ismael Francisco, Cubadebate via AP)

Houston mayor Sylvester Turner named former Houston Police Department assistant chief George T. Buenik to lead the city’s Homeland Security office. Buenik served in HPD for 34 years before retiring last year. As Executive Assistant Chief of Police, Buenik supervised numerous operations involving homeland security, cooperation with the Joint Terrorism Task Force, providing security for visiting dignitaries, and serving as chairman of the 2017 Houston Super Bowl Public Safety Committee.

Videos by Rare

In his new position, Buenik will work with city departments to prepare responses to both natural and man-made disasters, including ensuring that lines of communication to police, fire, emergency medical services, and other other first responders stay open in the event of an emergency.

RELATED: Houston Quietly Installs Around 900 Surveillance Cameras

“Houston needs someone with strong leadership skills and extensive experience in emergency preparedness and crisis management to lead the Office of Public Safety and Homeland Security, especially after Hurricane Harvey and other major events in the city,” Mayor Turner said in a press conference announcing Buenik’s appointment. “I am confident George Buenik has the strategic vision to take charge before, during and after the next crisis.”

“I look forward to getting back into public service,” Buenik said at the press conference. “My number one priority will be to keep this city safe and secure. I will work closely with Mayor Turner and other city directors to ensure we are properly prepared to respond to and mitigate all disasters and major emergencies.”

RELATED: Could “America First” Immigration Policy Lead to Gulf Shrimp Shortage?

Turner also said that Buenik is the best fit for the job due to his years of experience with homeland security matters, as well as his familiarity with the city and its security infrastructure after serving for more than three decades with HPD.

Buenik takes over the position from former director Dennis Storemski, who is retiring after serving in the department since 2005.

What do you think?

Wendy Williams hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease.

Wendy Williams is taking a 3-week break from her show due to health issues

Another one bites the dust in unsolved horse shootings on Liberty County ranch