It’s been several months since former Dallas County Emergency Management Coordinator Barry Halling retired, and at long last the position has been filled.

Dallas County Sheriff Chad Leonard, who had been serving as the defacto coordinator since Halling’s departure in April, tells Raccoon Valley Radio that the Emergency Management Commission has hired A.J. Seely. Seely held the same position in Chickasaw County, in northeastern Iowa, prior to accepting the Dallas County Emergency Management Coordinator job. The hiring brings to an end a long process that Leonard says included around 97 applicants and several rounds of interviews. The job had been offered to two individuals in the last couple months, but both declined the position for various reasons.

Seely will officially start on Monday, September 19th. He steps in for Halling, who was Dallas County’s only Emergency Management Coordinator, a position he held for 20 years.