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Parish Homeland Security Director retires

Published 12:05am Wednesday, May 29, 2013

VIDALIA — Hurricanes, floods and everyday storms, Concordia Parish Director of Homeland Security Morris White has guided residents through many natural disasters since 1984.

But when the next storm clouds roll in, the Concordia Parish Police Jury will be calling on someone else.

White officially resigned from the position Tuesday evening.“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done to take this recommendation,” President Melvin Ferrington said. “He was dedicated to the parish and was always putting the parish before anything else.

“He’ll certainly be hard to replace.”

White said he was first appointed to the position, which at the time was civil defense director, after former jury president Bill Latham signed him up for the job.

“I woke up one morning and saw my name in the paper about me being civil defense director,” White said. “I went and told Bill I didn’t remember getting into all this and he said, ‘You didn’t. I got you into it.’

“I told him I didn’t think I had time for it, but he said, ‘I need you Morris, and I need you to help the people of this parish.’”

White’s role as civil defense director eventually turned in to emergency preparedness director, which then turned into the director of homeland security.

“I’ve seen it all,” White said. “And I did it all for the people of this parish.”

White, 73, said he would miss the job as director, but that he felt it was simply the right time to leave.

“My wife is not well right now, and I need to be here for her now,” White said. “Now is the time to go.”

Ferrington also announced at the meeting that Charles Tarver of Wildsville, La., would replace White as the director.

Tarver previously worked for the Enforcement Division of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Region IV office, Ferrington said.

“Mr. Tarver knows the parish well, and I think he’s going to do a great job in the position,” Ferrington said. “He’ll start first thing (today) and get his feet wet.”