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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Meet the Public Safety Unified Command for World Alpine Ski Championships

Events like the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships don't just happen. When the Federation of International Skiing announced that Vail-Beaver Creek would host the championships in 2015, the Vail Valley Foundation, Vail and Beaver Creek mountains, and the community-at-large knew it needed to pull together to make this event happen seamlessly.

To do this, a unified Interagency Command Post was established. The ICP operates behind the scenes using a standard management hierarchy and procedures for managing personnel, facilities, equipment and communications during the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships. More than 120 federal, state and local public safety agencies and organizations are involved. The ICP is being led by four commanders and will operate until championships ends.

Chief Dwight Henninger
One of these commanders is Chief Dwight Henninger, Chief of Police in Vail, since 2002. Prior to coming to Vail, he was the Director of the Colorado Regional Community Policing Institute and the Colorado Police Corps in Golden. In 2007 he was the President of the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police and is currently a Vice President for the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He is the chairperson of the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships Security Committee.

ECPS CEO Fred Morrison
Next there is Fred Morrison, Chief Executive Officer of the Eagle County
Paramedic Services located in Edwards. Morrison started his career at the ECPS as an emergency medical technician, and was later promoted to field supervisor then operations manager and finally CEO. In addition to participating and planning for the 1989 and 1999 Alpine World Ski Championships, he has taken part in major events including the 2001 World Mountain Bike Championships, Teva/Go Pro Mountain Games, USA Pro Cycling Challenge and the annual World Cup Ski Races.

Eagle County Sheriff James van Beek
Then there is Sheriff James van Beek, a Colorado native, with more than 20 years of diverse law enforcement and leadership experience, both locally and internationally. van Beek embarked on his law enforcement career in 1989 with the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office. In 1999, he began working for Vail Resorts as the security supervisor on Vail mountain. International experience took hold in the fall of 2000 with his first tour serving the United Nations mission in Kosovo. Yet another international call-to-duty was answered with a mission to Afghanistan to help establish a democratic police force there. This tour lasted from the spring of 2006 until the fall of 2010. Now back in Eagle County, van Beek was elected Sheriff in 2014.

Major Barry Bratt
Finally, there is Major Barry Bratt, District Four Commander of the Colorado State Patrol. He started his law enforcement career as a patrol officer with the Westminster Police Department in Colorado. In 1996, he graduated from the Colorado State Patrol Academy as a State Trooper. In 2005, he was part of a team that began the initial implementation of the Homeland Security branch within the Colorado State Patrol.

To date, under the direction of these four commanders, thousands of hours have been logged by personnel under their direction. This is in addition to the 2,200 volunteers seen throughout the event.