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Allen Crawford's new EMA head

Former longtime law enforcement officer has experience in director's position

December 07, 2011
Larry (Moose) Allen has been chosen by the Emergency Management Agency advisory board and the Crawford County Commissioners to succeed outgoing Kent Barrow in the EMA director's position in Crawford County.

Larry (Moose) Allen, above, is Crawford County’s new Emergency Management Agency director. Selected by the EMA advisory board and the Crawford County Board of Commissioners, he succeeds Kent Barrow, who is resigning to pursue other interests. Photo by Lee Cable
Barrow, who held the position for several years, resigned recently to pursue other interests but agreed to stay on until Dec. 13 to help interview prospective candidates for the job and to help the new director learn the duties and responsibilities of the job. Allen's first day on the job was Nov. 29.

Allen had a long career in law enforcement, including several years in a director's position, which gave him the experience commissioners considered important in the EMA director's position.

After graduating from Milltown High School in the late 1960s, Allen attended Purdue University and majored in mathematics.

"After I left Purdue, I kicked around for two or three years," Allen, 59, said. "I worked a while at Reynolds Aluminum but then had an opportunity to go to work for the Department of Natural Resources as a conservation officer. I was interested in a job there since I graduated from high school. I still believe it's one of the best jobs ever thought up. I enjoyed it."

Allen worked for a while in another county but was finally transferred back home to Crawford County.

"I worked as a conservation officer here until 1997," he added. "Then, Gov. Frank O'Bannon appointed me to the director of law enforcement position at DNR in Indianapolis. I had about 217 conservation officers working under me."

Allen returned to Crawford County four years later and worked out of the Patoka DNR office until he retired in July 2007. But retirement didn't fit him well and, after about a month, Allen took a job with the Department of Homeland Security working with the Port of Louisville, Port of Cincinnati and barge line companies on the Ohio River, helping with grants and setting up maritime security programs against terrorist attacks. He believes his experience will be useful in the EMA director's position.

"I like dealing with people," he said. "In this job, I'll have to communicate with fire departments, police departments and others throughout the county and beyond, and I'm looking forward to it. I have some things to learn yet, but I know a lot of people in Indianapolis and even Washington, D.C., so that may come in handy at times."

Allen said the scope of the responsibilities of the EMA job surprised him.

"A lot of people don't see what is involved with this job," he said. "Kent did an excellent job here, and he did a lot that people aren't aware of. It's a lot of work if you do this job right. I still have some things to accomplish. I've already had some of the classes that are required for this job, but I took those years ago so I'll probably retake them so I can brush up on what's important. And some of my law enforcement training is a little different than what is needed here, so I'm all about education and learning what's needed to do the job. In an emergency, when things get stressful, you always fall back on your training, just like in the military.

"I plan on setting up meeting with the fire departments in the county, the sheriff's department, EMS and the 911 dispatchers and get to know them. If something happens, we'll all be working together."

When asked if he was considering an assistant, Allen said he will be considering that.

"More than one person in the county should have this knowledge and ability," he said. "If, for instance, a tornado hits my house, or, for whatever reason, I'm not available, we need someone who can come in here and get things going. If we get an assistant, half of the part-time salary would be paid by the state, so we're not talking about a lot of money but a lot of safety and back-up."

Allen and his wife, Carrie, live near Milltown. He has two grown children, Kandi and Wendi, and one young son, Dax. They also own and operate Shaker's Café in Marengo.

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