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Mission            Scope            History            Training            Exercises            LEPD            Contact Us

Mission Statement

"to protect the lives and property of persons in Barry and Lawrence County,
when disaster strikes in any form in any community within these great counties"

Scope of Mission

The Office of Emergency Management is responsible for the development of a county Emergency Operations Plan, which coordinates the actions of Barry and Lawrence County departments and agencies in the event of any emergency that may require a multiple jurisdictional response. OEM is also tasked with coordination of requests for state and federal resources that arise from a "disaster" situation.

The Barry and Lawrence County Office of Emergency Management responds to two types of disasters, natural and technological (manmade). Natural disasters include major snow and/or ice storms, floods, tornadoes, severe weather, severe heat and/or humidity, major epidemics, any other major event that poses a threat to the well being of the persons within Barry County. The second type of disaster is manmade; this includes technological emergencies, hazardous materials incidents, radiological, biological, and chemical emergencies, as well as large-scale criminal acts. The OEM primary responsibilities are to facilitate the mitigation, preparedness, and recovery of the county and the residents within it's jurisdiction. During the response to an emergency, OEM supports the mission of other public safety response agencies.

The Office of Emergency Management operates under the authority of the Barry and Lawrence County Commission.


Organized in 1978 in accordance with chapter 44 RSMO, Barry and Lawrence County established separate, though similar Civil Defense agencies. Those agencies were charged with preparing for and responding to the next, assumable, nuclear war.

While the responsibility for these agencies rested with the County Court (commission), the Presiding County Judge (commissioner) was specifically required to appoint the position or serve as the Civil Defense Director. In both counties a Civil Defense Director was appointed to serve at the leisure of the Presiding County Judge.

While essentially unchanged for nearly a decade, the Civil Defense (CD) agencies prepared and managed local resources for the "big-one." They maintained some surplus military vehicles, many of which were on loan to area fire departments, and were active with the amateur radio community. The CD Director was responsible for the counties' readiness to protect the citizenry and preparedness to accept over 50,000 residents from other communities in Missouri that would be evacuated to Barry and Lawrence County in the event of a nuclear attack.

It wasn't until 1987 that the FEMA began encouraging an "all hazards" approach to "Emergency Management." In response we began thinking of Civil Defense as more than a nuclear preparedness agency. By 1991 both Barry and Lawrence County had developed Emergency Operations Plans, which, while still heavy with nuclear preparedness, were written to address many natural and manmade hazards.

Pierce City, May 5, 2003 As a new century dawned, changes came to both Barry and Lawrence Counties' Emergency Management Agencies. Each county had developed an all hazards approach to emergency management and both had tested those plans numerous times in both simulated and actual events. Personnel changes, as well, came to the agencies, as Charles Jackson retired as the EM Director for Barry County. David Compton, who had served as the Barry County EMA's Operations Officer for several years was tapped to take the reigns of the agency. Harold Rutledge, the veteran Lawrence County Emergency Management Director, also retired and the search began to find his successor. In an effort to reduce costs, increase cooperation, and following the lead of the Barry / Lawrence LEPD, the two counties began to explore the possibility and feasibility of developing a bi-county agency. After discussion with the State Emergency Management Agency and the Secretary of State it was decided that a bi-county agency could be developed.

On January 3, 2000 David Compton was appointed to the post of Lawrence County Emergency Management Director. This appointment, together with his appointment to the Barry County Director's post in July of 2000, made him the first person to hold the Emergency Management Director's position in two counties simultaneously. The new agency became co-located with Barry Lawrence Local Emergency Planning District in Monett. The Barry and Lawrence County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) while supported by separate budgets, both receive the Emergency Management Program Grant from FEMA through the State Emergency Management Agency.

A part-time director, part-time deputy director, and volunteers, who fill the posts of administrative assistant, volunteer program coordinator, hazardous weather coordinator, and communications officer staff the OEM.

Due to the commitment of individuals like Harold Rutledge who served 22 years as the Lawrence County Coordinator, Andy Treat who brought the Barry County Emergency Management Agency and the LEPC into the computer age and Charles Jackson who lead the Barry County agency through the changes and preparations for the next century. Barry and Lawrence Counties have remained ready to protect the citizens of our communities when the unthinkable happens.

Resources: Barry County Public Records Barry County Marriage Records


Training opportunities are continuously updated. Please check back frequently for the latest information.



Exercises give emergency responders within the counties the opportunity to test their plans and practice their response to an emergency situation in a safe, controlled environment. Each year the Office of Emergency Management participates in at least one exercise.

For information on past exercises or dates of future exercises, please contact the Office of Emergency Management via email, or by calling (417) 235-0200.


The Barry / Lawrence County Local Emergency Planning District holds monthly meetings. These meetings are generally held at the Office of Emergency Management, 217 E. Broadway in Monett, and are open to the public. Members of the public who would like to address the LEPD should contact the Secretary to be placed on the agenda.

For more information on the LEPD, or to be placed on the agenda, contact the Office of Emergency Management via email, or by calling (417) 235-0200.

Next meeting:  August 21, 2008 at 10:00 am
Location:  LEPD office, 100 Maple Street, Monett

Meeting Agenda 8/21/08    (.pdf)

Meeting Minutes 7/17/08    (.pdf)
Meeting Minutes 6/19/08    (.pdf)
Meeting Minutes 5/22/08    (.pdf)
Meeting Minutes 4/17/08    (.pdf)
Meeting Minutes 1/17/08    (.pdf)
Meeting Minutes 6/21/07    (.pdf)
Meeting Minutes 5/17/07    (.pdf)
Meeting Minutes 4/19/07    (.pdf)
Meeting Minutes 3/15/07    (.pdf)
Meeting Minutes 2/15/07    (.pdf)
Meeting Minutes 10/19/06    (.pdf)
Meeting Minutes 9/21/06    (.pdf)
Meeting Minutes 7/20/06    (.pdf)
Meeting Minutes 6/15/06    (.pdf)
Meeting Minutes 5/18/06    (.pdf)
Meeting Minutes 4/20/06    (.pdf)
Meeting Minutes 3/16/06    (.pdf)
Meeting Minutes 2/16/06    (.pdf)

Contact Us

Mailing Address:                  Phone:     (417) 235-0200
611 County Road                  Fax:     (417) 235-0400
Monett, MO 65708                  Email:

Copyright © 2003 Barry/Lawrence County Office of Emergency Management, Monett, Missouri