longtime area public safety officials have
been recognized by Fayette Rotary as joint recipients of the service
club’s annual Business and
Professional Leadership Award.
Receiving the 2020
award are the co-directors of
County’s Emergency Management
Office, Bryan Kunze and Bill John.
The recognition program began in 1984.
Currently the names of past recipients are affixed on two permanent
plaques which hang in the Commercial Trust Community Room. Any business
or professional person residing within the bounds of the Fayette R-III
school district is eligible to receive the award. Rotary members vote
annually each spring to make the selection.
Howard County native Bryan Kunze began his
career in emergency services in 1978, serving 31 years as a Fayette
police officer, with 24 as chief of police. He retired in 2010.
He is a longtime member of Fayette’s
Volunteer Fire Department, in addition to the Howard County Fire
Protection District where he has served as chief for the past five
years. Kunze has been involved with the two departments for more than 42
William (Bill) John also is a
Howard County native and served 28 years with the
Fayette Police Department,
retiring with rank of captain. Currently he is director of Emergency
Management for the City of Fayette.
He also has been recognized as a longtime board member of
Howard Electric Co-Op,
serving as treasurer since 2002. Currently he is the
co-op’s representative to the
board of directors of the Association of Missouri Electric Co-ops.
John and Kunze started as co-directors of
Howard County Emergency Management in January 2006. In March of that
year the county was hit with a tornado that caused more than 20 million
dollars damage. The two men have worked on four Presidential Disaster
Declarations for Howard County since 2006. These include the
aforementioned 2006 tornado, a major winter storm, major flooding last
year, and the current Covid-19 crisis. Their office is based in the
One part of the job is to serve as a liaison
between Howard County to both SEMA and FEMA. The men gather cost
estimates associated with a disaster and forward the information to the
state. If the county is able
to meet certain thresholds it can receive
federal reimbursements for expenses. The two often meet with SEMA to
update the county’s Local
Emergency Operations Plan. Bryan and Bill gather regularly to train and
conduct exercises with 13 Central Missouri counties which helps local
units prepare for disasters.
Unfortunately thus far,
no one has received the training needed to address the Covid-19
crisis, they note.
Both of this year’s leadership recipients
graduated from Fayette High School in the mid-1970s and over the years
have taken numerous training courses in law enforcement, fire fighting
and emergency management.
Bryan and his wife, Connie, have two
children and six grandchildren. Bill has one daughter and two
May 15, 2020