Missouri's homeland security director resigns

Friday, September 9, 2005

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri Homeland Security director Michael Chapman resigned Thursday after less than seven months on the job. The Department of Public Safety said Chapman left so he can spend more time with his wife and two children in St. Louis. Public Safety director Mark James said he will assume Chapman's duties. Chapman is a former federal Defense Department employee who was hired to direct Missouri's homeland security efforts in February. Among the initiatives he was leading was the creation of a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week state homeland security hub focused on spotting and stopping terrorist acts.

James said that initiative and others would continue.

Chapman had attended a homeland security conference hosted by the federal government just two weeks ago.

Spence Jackson, a spokesman for Gov. Matt Blunt, said Chapman eventually would be replaced.

But department spokeswoman Terri Durdaller said there are no immediate plans to search for a replacement.

"We're going to see if Mark James can do all of the duties of homeland security director, and if this administration feels there are some loopholes that are not being closed, then they will look for a homeland security director," Durdaller said.

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