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Members 2017-09-15T22:23:47+00:00

Meet the Leaders That Shape our Organization

John Drake

Director

John Drake is an Assistant Chief and thirty-one year veteran of the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) with contemporary leadership skills in developing personnel, positively influencing organizational direction, and cultivating community relationships. A participative and adaptable leader who reinforces the importance of core values: civic responsibility, organizational commitment, and personal ethical integrity. Core competencies include strategy development, innovative collaboration, organizational change, participative team building, and program management. Chief Drake’s leadership and vision help direct the Executive Officer and supports policy development within the organization.

David Barrett

Exec. Officer

David Barrett brings three decades of senior management experience to The Safe Community Project. Raised in a motion picture household, David has earned dozens of awards and honors for film and video production. His projects have taken him around the world, and he continues to work closely with film and media productions. David was the founder of one of the most successful software publishers for the Amiga Computer, including the world renowned VideoScape 3D, now known as Lightwave 3D. He worked closely with Apple for 28 years, including authoring of key media-centric training and white papers for new technologies, as well as working to create a new method of editing film, using personal computers. His work with Apple’s QuickTime, SuperMac, Radius, and Adobe‘s video products helped create a new industry.

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Steven Owens

Director

Steven Owens served the Los Angeles Fire Department for 32 years, including 22 as a Captain, responsible for his own engine company. During his tenure with the LAFD, Steve was responsible for management, supervision and training of a fire company to provide fire and emergency medical services within a geographical area to include fire prevention (application/enforcement of LA Municipal Code) and community relations activities.  Steve spent four years as a Fire Academy Instructor and six years as a Chief Officer Aide/Staff Assistant/Adjutant.

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William A. Whitney

Director

William A. Whitney has been with The Safe Community Project since its formation in early 2009. An expert in executive search and public safety, Mr. Whitney has worked in senior management for multiple search agencies in the U.S. and in Singapore. Mr. Whitney holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Puget Sound.A native of California, he is active in the community and currently serves as Secretary and Board member of the Men’s Garden Club of Los Angeles, serves as a Committee Chair for the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society & Museum, and is a L.A.F.D. CERT Division Coordinator.

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Cameron Barrett

Director

Cameron Barrett brings extensive educational, training, and media experience to The Safe Community Project. She is an award-winning producer, director, camera operator and editor. Her projects have taken her around the world. She has multi-faceted experience in journalism including radio, television and online news (blogs, Audio/Video podcasts), education, as well as online, corporate and for-broadcast production. Prior to teaching broadcast journalism at both the University of Miami and the University of Georgia, Cameron spent several years as an on-air news anchor and then news director for an NBC affiliate in New York. She is a partner in a media production company in California (R/com Studios) with expertise in film, web, and software development.

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David  Yamahata

Director

David Yamahata brings 36.5 years of experience as a firefighter to The Safe Community Project. Retiring as Chief Deputy of Emergency Operations of the Los Angeles Fire Department, David’s career covered a wide range of expertise. After his initial promotion to Apparatus Operator, he moved quickly through the ranks as Captain, Battalion Chief, Assistant Chief, and finally to the number two spot directly under the Fire Chief. David’s experience includes field operations, dispatch, employee relations, chief of staff, and division command.

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Harry Semerdjian

Director

Harout Harry Semerdjian has been a valued member of The Safe Community Project since March 2016. Harout is currently the organization’s Director of Government Affairs, working with elected officials throughout California to share our mission and progress. He is also an Associate with California Consulting, LLC, the largest grant-writing firm in the State of California. Harout has also served as a Campaign Adviser to several city and state election campaigns, and most recently helped secure victory for Professor Raul Bocanegra for California State Assembly, District 39.

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Past Directors Include:

  • Assistant Chief (ret) Dean Cathey, 2009 – 2017
  • Firefighter Margaret Stewart, 2009 – 2015
  • Paramedic Jayson Johnson, 2011 – 2014
  • Captain (ret) Wayne Johnson, 2011 – 2014
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