Who We Are

The Allen County Office of Homeland Security responds to Allen County Code Title 8, Article 8 (pdf). Our local agency handles disaster preparedness and response according to Indiana Code 10-14-3-17

 Allen County Homeland Security Advisory Council (HSAC)

The HSAC supervises and controls the Allen County emergency management and disaster preparedness programs. This council consists of:

  • elected officials from each Allen County jurisdiction
  • public safety officials
  • representatives from agencies that assist with emergency management.

Four people manage the Allen County Office of Homeland Security:

Bernie Beier

Director

The Allen County government appointed Bernie Beier as the Director in April of 2012. Before that, he had served as the Director of Homeland Security for the City of Fort Wayne since 2003.

Bernie retired in June of 2002 from the U.S. Marine Corps after serving 21 years. He is a combat veteran. He has served on several Joint Task Forces dealing with intelligence and terrorism.

As the director, Bernie organizes efforts between participating agencies, jurisdictions, and organizations. He serves as the county emergency management and disaster preparedness director. 

Bernie is a graduate of Bishop Luers High School. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration and a master’s degree in Security Management. He is a graduate of the Leadership Fort Wayne program.

He serves on several Local, State, and National homeland security-related committees. He and his wife Lora have four adult children.

Chris Fleischer

Operations & Planning Coordinator

Chris Fleischer took the position of planning coordinator in March of 2019. Before that, he was a supervising investigator at the Allen County Prosecutor’s Office for 23 years.

As planning coordinator, he manages the local emergency management planning process. He researches, identifies, and plans for all threats and hazards within Allen County. He collaborates with the Allen County government and stakeholders. He creates, reviews, and revises plans. Also, he manages the Office ACOHS Drone Program.

During his time here, Chris has started the Allen County Drone Working Group. This group unites Fort Wayne city departments, New Haven, and other first responders to collaborate and coordinate on the use of drones in Allen County.

Chris is a graduate of Concordia High School. He obtained bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Criminal Justice from Ball State He received a master’s degree in Public Management from Indiana University. He is an FAA-licensed sUAS Drone Pilot and an NRA Certified Pistol Instructor.

Outside of work, Chris has been an active volunteer in the non-profit community for over 10 years. He has served roles on several boards, including the President of the Board of Directors for the Down syndrome Association of Northeast Indiana and the Children’s Autism Center.

Lori Mayers

Information Coordinator

After Lori graduated high school, Lori joined the Civil Defense Office. She has been a part of this office (through its changing names) for 33 years.

Lori administers financials and budget for the Office. She provides support and local resources to prepare departments/agencies for a disaster. She gathers and maintains critical resources from the private and public sectors.  She assists 311 Tier 2 companies with their annual reporting requirements. Each year she updates the hazardous materials response plan and exercises. Then, she submits the accompanying documents to the State.

She prepares an account of all grants passed through the Office. She helps to plan and organize training workshops and disaster exercises.  During a declared emergency, she counsels entities on public assistance programs. She participates in community awareness events. These include the safety fair, weather radio programs, and the monthly siren test.

Lori says, "The focus of emergency management and the hazards faced by citizens may have changed in some ways since the Civil Defense era, but what hasn’t changed is the commitment to making our County better prepared for any emergency or disaster."

Emily Bentz

Research Specialist

Emily Bentz joined the office in January of 2022 as an intern in her junior year at Purdue University of Fort Wayne.

As an intern, Emily has provided research feedback to the office on the Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan and the Threats and Hazards Identification and Risk Assessment for Allen County. Emily has also been tasked with various projects within the Office of Homeland Security, to include observing opportunities and obstacles for implementing a new tornado alert system and considering ways to increase preparedness for these emergencies in schools.

Emily graduated from Snider High School in 2020. Emily is a student at Purdue University of Fort Wayne, and is currently working towards her bachelor’s degree in Public Policy and Administration. She plans to graduate in December of 2023.

Other than working in our office, Emily also works for Concordia Lutheran Elementary School, and is active in their extended care, youth group, and Cubs Club programs.