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With decades of experience in management and local government, Public Safety Director Chris Slemp has been promoted to Director of Operations for Pittsylvania County. Slemp will assume his new duties on May 1.
"I have enjoyed overseeing the development of the Pittsylvania County Public Safety Department, which touches all of our County residents and businesses in some way," Slemp said. “I’ve been lucky to make some great friendships with many of the volunteers and staff and I’ll miss working with them every day. Our public safety system is lucky to have such great people as a part of it. As the Director of Operations, I am ready to make a positive impact on the County in different areas. I am thrilled to serve the County in this role, which includes more diverse responsibilities.”
The Public Safety Department has improved under Slemp's leadership since Pittsylvania County hired him in November of 2017. In the summer of 2020, Public Safety transitioned from relying on contractors for backup EMS service to hiring its own team of paid EMS professionals that are staffed at four locations. Some of the departments that fall under the Public Safety umbrella include the 911 Center, Animal Control, EMS staff, the Fire Marshals, and Emergency Management. Slemp also worked closely with the County's 23 volunteer agencies to coordinate effective emergency services.
"Slemp has demonstrated professionalism and effective management skills during his time as the County's Public Safety Director," said Interim County Administrator Clarence Monday. "We are confident that Slemp will be an asset to the County in this new position."
In his new position, Slemp will oversee three primary areas: the Public Works Department, the Pittsylvania Pet Center, and special projects. The Public Works Department includes solid waste operations, water and sewer services, and the Building and Grounds Department. Some of the special projects that Slemp will manage beginning day one include the restoration of the Ringgold Rail Trail Bridge, the Gretna Library Renovation project, and convenience center improvements.
Before joining Pittsylvania County's Public Safety Department, Slemp served in a variety of public safety and management positions, including stints as the Deputy Fire Chief for Horry County, South Carolina, Director of Public Safety for Franklin County, Virginia, and Battalion Chief with Hanover County, Virginia. Slemp has a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Economics from Emory and Henry College and a Master of Public Administration and Disaster Management from Liberty University.
Slemp will assume his new role on May 1, and the leadership transition in the Public Safety Department will be announced soon.