Preckwinkle Praises Accomplishments of Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management as Michael Masters Departs Post

September 10, 2015

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced today that Michael Masters, the executive director of the Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, will leave his position at the end of September to join strategic consulting firm The Soufan Group as senior vice president.

We are grateful to Michael for his years of service to the residents of Cook County, Preckwinkle said. As I often mention, when I took office, the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management was one of two County agencies that I knew was under investigation by various entities. Michael effectively transitioned the department to one that has not only made the safety and security of our communities a top priority, but that is now recognized as a national model in multiple areas. The programs instituted under his leadership have made our municipalities more resilient and our County more secure.

Since joining the Preckwinkle administration four years ago, Masters has overseen the development of comprehensive planning, information-sharing, operations, logistics, training, cyber security and grants management programs. Under Masters' leadership, the department increased the amount of federal grant funding received by the County, using those funds to develop innovative programs that support local, state and federal partners; address natural hazards and information security threats; counter targeted violence and protect critical infrastructure, as well as communal spaces such as schools and houses of worship; and train residents in resiliency.

It has been an honor and privilege to serve as President Preckwinkle's executive director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Masters said. I am proud of the work that we have done to undertake an organizational redesign of the department, developing innovative programs that have enhanced the safety and security of Cook County and our residents while serving as an example to other jurisdictions. I am - similarly - confident in the state of the department and its ability to have an ongoing positive impact on our regional preparedness through a whole community, all-hazards approach. I am grateful for the opportunity to work for this administration and look forward to continuing to have a positive impact on public safety.