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Press Releases - County Council

Public Safety Committee and Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee hold virtual meetings on Sept. 17

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The following Committees will meet virtually on Thursday, Sept. 17. Council staff reports and additional information on items scheduled for Committee review can be viewed at: http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.
The Committee meeting schedule may change from time to time. The current Committee agendas can be viewed at:
http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/COUNCIL/ondemand/index.html.

On the guidance of Health Officer and Chief of Public Health Services Dr. Travis Gayles, there is currently no public access to the Council Office Building. The virtual Council meeting will be streamed live on the Council’s web page via YouTube (MoCoCouncilMD) and on Facebook Live (MontgomeryCountyMdCouncil) and can be watched on County Cable Montgomery on channels 30 (Fios), 1056 (RCN) and 996 (Xfinity).

Meeting: Public Safety (PS) Committee
Time: 9:30 a.m.
PS Committee: Council President Sidney Katz (Chair), Councilmember Gabe Albornoz and Council Vice President Tom Hucker
Topics:

Briefing on the new Office of Animal Services
The PS Committee will receive an update on the Office of Animal Services’(OAS) transition from being a division within the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) to a new stand-alone office. This briefing is intended to provide the committee with an overview on the transition process, details about how OAS has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, a review of key statistics and outcome indicators on the services provided by OAS, and a summary of changes in policies and procedures intended to improve the effectiveness of OAS. Those expected to attend the meeting include: Tom Koenig, executive director, OAS; Alexandra “Lex” Lepiarz, deputy executive director, OAS; Dr. Gregory Lawrence, chief veterinarian, OAS; Bonnie White, business operations manager, OAS; Lavonia Byrd, field operations supervisor, OAS; Jack Breckenridge, cruelty investigator, MCPD/OAS and Trevor Lobaugh, fiscal and policy analyst, Office of Management and Budget.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Report on Perdido Bay Terrace Significant Incident Review
The PS Committee will also receive a briefing on the Perdido Bay Terrace Significant Incident Review. On June 4, 2020, fire and rescue personnel from Montgomery County and Loudoun County responded to a reported drowning victim in Goose Creek, which is in Loudoun County, Virginia. Tragically, the victim, 16-year-old Fitz Thomas could not be resuscitated by bystanders who first initiated CPR nor the Loudoun County emergency responders who arrived and took over resuscitation efforts.

Goose Creek flows into the Potomac River, and due to the incident’s proximity between Virginia and Maryland, 911 calls for assistance were received by both Montgomery County and Loudoun County’s Emergency Communications Centers. The State of Maryland has jurisdiction over the Potomac River, and Montgomery County has both law enforcement and fire rescue jurisdiction for incidents on the river. Potomac River rescues are carried out by the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS), even if the incident originates in Virginia. MCFRS has mutual aid agreements with other jurisdictions along the Potomac River and can request assistance when needed. The following individuals will attend the meeting: Chief Scott Goldstein, MCFRS; Assistant Police Chief Dinesh Patil, Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD); Assistant Fire Chief Ed Radcliffe, MCFRS; and Acting Director Cassandra Onley, Emergency Communications Center, MCPD.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Meeting: Joint Public Safety (PS) Committee and Government Operations and Fiscal Policy (GO) Committee
Time: 1:30 p.m.
PS Committee: Council President Sidney Katz (Chair), Councilmember Gabe Albornoz and Council Vice President Tom Hucker
GO Committee: Councilmembers Nancy Navarro (Chair) and Andrew Friedson and Council President Sidney Katz
Topics:

Supplemental Appropriation to the County Government’s FY21 Operating Budget, Office of the County Executive - $550,000 to support a Police audit, Fire and Rescue Service audit, and consulting funds for community engagement support
The PS and GO Committees will meet jointly to review a supplemental appropriation of $550,000 to the Office of the County Executive’s FY21 operating budget to support audits of the Montgomery County Police Department and the Fire and Rescue Service, as well as funds for community engagement support. Currently, there are several efforts underway in the County to examine how the Montgomery County Police Department operates, and the audit funding requested will be used to provide feedback and recommendations to help the County deliver more equitable and effective public safety services. These ongoing public safety initiatives include:

  • The Task Force to Reimagine Public Safety (report due January 2021);
  • The Policing Advisory Commission (ongoing reporting requirements); and
  • The Montgomery County Public Schools’ examination of the School Resource Officer program.

The goals of these initiatives are to address institutional racism and work towards creating a safer and more equitable Montgomery County. The individuals expected to attend the meeting include: Caroline Sturgis, assistant chief administrative officer, Office of the County Executive; Dale Tibbitts, special assistant, Office of the County Executive; David L. Douglass, president, Effective Law Enforcement for All (ELE4A); and Dr. Ashley Brown Burns, executive director, ELE4A.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

Amendment to Fiscal Year 2021 Operating Budget Resolution 19-472, Section G, Fiscal Year 2021 Designation of Entities for Non-Competitive Contract Award Status
The PS and GO Committee will conclude its meeting with a review and vote on a budget amendment that designates ELE4A as a noncompetitive contract awardee to perform an audit of the Montgomery County Police Department and provide support to the Task Force to Reimagine Public Safety.

The Council staff report can be viewed here.

 

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Release ID: 20-369
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926 , Juan Jovel 240-777-7931