A successor for Dennis Moats, who is retiring as Bartholomew County emergency management director, is expected to be announced Jan. 4.

Earlier this fall, three candidates were interviewed for the position by a subcommittee of the Local Emergency Planning Committee, and its recommendation was made to the full committee, chairwoman Martha Myers said.

Although the Bartholomew County Commissioners are expected to concur with the recommendation, Moats, 65, has accumulated enough vacation time that funding to pay his successor won’t be available until Jan. 19, commissioner Carl Lienhoop and county auditor Barb Hackman said.

The person being recommended is a Bartholomew County resident, Myers said. A top concern of the committee was finding a person with extensive knowledge of local public safety agencies who knows where and how to get the resources needed during an emergency, she said.

During Monday’s county commissioners meeting, more than two dozen people gathered to pay tribute to the outgoing director’s 24 years of experience, which included a proclamation that officially declared Monday as Dennis Moats Day in Bartholomew County.

While addressing the crowd, Moats paid his own tribute to four past or current deputy directors who served under him:

Kathy Dayhoff Dwyer, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, local support branch director.

Shannan Hinton, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, District 8 coordinator.

Reigna Zeigler, Cummins Inc., regional security adviser.

Susan Armstrong, current deputy director.

“They have had an immense impact on the success of this office,” said Moats, whose final full day in the office was Wednesday.

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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.