TriMet names executive director of safety and security

Written by Kyra Senese, Managing Editor
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Marla Blagg | Photo: BART

TriMet’s safety and security division will soon be run by a new executive director.

Marla Blagg will join TriMet on Oct. 22, coming from San Francisco-based Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).

Blagg is expected to work closely with outgoing executive director Harry Saporta, who is set to retire in early 2019 after leading TriMet’s safety and security initiatives for eight years.

“Blagg brings proven leadership and management skills to TriMet,” said TriMet Chief Operating Officer Maurice Henderson II. “She identifies needs and works toward solutions that benefit the public’s safety and an agency’s operation. We are excited to have her join us in this critical role, and I am confident that our customers will benefit from her dedication and expertise in emergency preparedness.”

Blagg has created and directed emergency operations, management and training across law enforcement, fire, public health and transit industries in Alameda County, Calif., for almost two decades.

At BART, officials said Blagg established the agency’s first emergency operations center. Her efforts facilitated strategic planning and coordination regarding safety, security and operations efforts during high-level security events, major operational incidents and natural disasters.

Before her time at BART, Blagg worked with Alameda County’s Sheriff’s Office, Fire Department and Public Health Department, officials said.

She also formed an emergency management plan to develop policies and procedures across multiple jurisdictions, in addition to assisting in the development of a five-year strategic plan for the Alameda County Fire Department. Blagg served as a liaison between federal, state and local agencies, officials noted.

Blagg also works as an adjunct professor for the Infrastructure Training & Safety Institute at Texas A&M University’s Texas Engineering Extension Service. She is a member of the American Public Transportation Association Security Emergency Management Task Force Committee, as well.

She has also served on the Urban Areas Security Initiative Program’s management team, where officials said she created a multi-year exercise training plan for prevention, preparedness, response and recovery relating to acts of terrorism.

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