Board or Committee Meeting
Wednesday, October 19, 2022 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Topic: Emergency Services Commission

Time: Oct 19, 2022 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)


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Meeting ID: 819 8057 2154

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Meeting ID: 819 8057 2154

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Emergency Services Commission Meeting

October 19, 2022, 7 pm

Virtual via Zoom



  1. Roll Call


  1. Annual Report discussion


  1. Staff Reports
    1. Emergency Management
    2. Fire Marshal’s
    3. Laurel Police Department
    4. Department of Public Works
    5. Laurel Volunteer Fire Department
    6. Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad


  1. General Public Hearing


  1. Scheduling Next Meeting


  1. Adjournment


Emergency Services Commission Meeting

September 20, 2022 7 PM

Virtual via Zoom



Vice Chair Davis called the meeting to order at 7:07 PM, with the following members virtually present:

Chairman Fred Carmen,

Vice Chair Patrick Davis,

Commissioner Roy P. Gilmore.

Commissioner Wayne Dzwonchyk


Also attending:


Chief Jim Codespote – Laurel Volunteer Fire Department

Laurel Police Chief Russ Hamill

Danny Selby – Director Fire Marshal and Permit Services

Christina L. Cornwell – City of Laurel - Emergency Manager

Laura Christoplos – Administrative Assistant II




Staff Reports:


Christina L. Cornwell, Emergency Management:

Ms. Cornwell updated everyone on the grants. Laurel Police Department’s allocation revolved around evidence collection. $1378 went to training two officers, and $2417.93 was spent on evidence collection materials. The total was $3795.93.

LVFD spent $11213 on engine repair.

The Rescue Squad purchased a compression system for $8936.90.

The total spent was $23,945.83 out of the $25,000 available.

Ms. Cornwell is going to start the grant process now for Fiscal Year 2023 and get the applications updated so that the agencies have more time to figure out what they want/need.

Emergency management updates:

In August there was a tabletop exercise for the Van Dusen Road Dam. We have a plan developed and approved by the Maryland Department of the Environment that is required to be updated annually. The tabletop exercise is required every 5 years.

September is National Preparedness Month, so we did a presentation to the Fifth-Grade class at Laurel Elementary on disaster preparedness. The students are part of a poster contest with us.

The City held a Crisis Leadership and Decision Making Class attended by council members and senior staff.

FEMA officially gave us a plaque for our Community Rating System. We are required to recertify every October, and every 5 years they do a site visit.

We are currently a Class 7. Once we become a Class 5 site visits will be every 3 years.

We are helping the Board of Trade plan Main Street Festival, and Main Street Trick or Treat which is on October 27.

October 25-27 the City is hosting ICS 300 Training. November 1-2 we are hosting ICS 400 Training. If you have needs to participate in the future let me know.

We are also cooperating with Prince George’s County to update the Hazard Mitigation Plan. It expires in November 2022, but they have asked for an extension until the end of the year.

Emergency Action Plans have been completed for all the City buildings. We will be doing drills soon.

WSSC has asked us to host a Brighton Dam tabletop exercise in October.


The Commission is required to prepare a report annually. There is no format that is required. I don’t believe it has been done before.

It would include what items or activities we have accomplished, what we want to do for the coming year, and any suggestions for the budget.

Could staff help us put it together? Yes. We would need to know what you want to include in the report.

Chair Carmen asked the Commissioners to send their thoughts in to him or Ms. Cornwell.

It will probably be due in a December time frame and presented to the Council.

It is a requirement for all Commissions and has not been done in the past.

Details will be worked out offline.


Commissioner Gilmore suggested that he and Chair Carmen get together with Ms. Cornwell before the next meeting. Commissioner Dzwonchyk would also be happy to help. Staff will send the Commission the minutes from the past year for records of monies given out and actions completed.

The Mayor is looking for recommendations from the Commission—From all the commissioners.


Danny Selby Fire Marshal and Permit Services:

The office has been inundated with building permits. We’re swamped with all the construction going on in the city. Code Enforcement has been dealing with lots of tall grass and shopping carts.

Laurel Overlook has completed 97 townhouses and has another 53 under construction. Patuxent Greens has completed 75 townhouses and started 26 more. NV has completed 40 townhouses, 27 singles, and has started 13 more townhouses and 5 more singles. Westside has started 6 townhouses and a Starbucks.

There was discussion of how the extra load on services is treated when these permits are granted. All the different departments look at it. LPD has a formula: 2.4 officers needed per 1000 residents


Chief Russ Hamill Laurel Police Department:

LPD is preparing for Main Street Festival, Pride Day, and Trick or Treat. All are very labor intensive and require planning for us to handle things effectively.

There is an alumni event on October 6 in the morning.

Recruiting has become a major concern in policing. We’ve attended a number of recruiting events.

There is an awards ceremony scheduled this Thursday at 5 PM at the PAC Center for officers and their families.

The upsurge in guns and violence is a major concern. It has also become frustrating when violent suspects are released quickly on low bail.

Commissioners asked about morale.  Chief Hamill said it was good. We welcome anyone coming in during these challenging times. In Laurel we don’t see the narrative of the police being at odds with the community. We have a very supportive community that embraces the Police Department.

Commissioner Gilmore congratulated Chief Hamill on being elected President of the Maryland Police Chiefs’ Association. He also shared very positive feedback on the Cops Camp this summer.

Commissioner Dzwonchyk asked if the recent Supreme Court decision on gun control will cause difficulties. Chief Hamill said he doesn’t foresee that becoming a big issue for policing.

Chief Hamill mentioned that they are excited about the Citizens’ Academy. There was also an inquiry about the Explorers Program that was interrupted due to COVID.

Chair Carmen asked if the chief has considered an auxiliary or reserve officer program similar to what is happening elsewhere. Chief Hamill replied that he’s had some preliminary discussion about that.

Chair Carmen really enjoyed the alumni meet and greet last year and is looking forward to it this year


Department of Public Works:

Not in attendance.


Chief Jim Codespote, Laurel Volunteer Fire Department (LVFD):

It’s a long process for LVFD to get new members on board. We’ve asked Prince George’s County to come in and staff our station 24/7. Right now, they are only here 7 AM-3 PM M-F. They don’t have the personnel either.

We may be cutting out a bit early from Main Street Festival since our banquet is that night.

Chair Carmen asked what “Old time Members” could do to help.

Chief Codespote responded that there are many more requirements now than there were “back then” Both training and actual time spent at the station.

The ultimate goal is to get full time staffing. Several of the commissioners reiterated their desire to help in whatever capacity they could. Perhaps as part of an auxiliary.


Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad (LVRS):

The Rescue Squad representative was not able to attend.


Chairman Carmen opened and closed the General Public hearing at 8:00 p.m. with no one wishing to speak.


The next meeting was scheduled for Wednesday October 19 at 7 PM to discuss


There being no further business to come before the Commission the meeting was adjourned at 8:08 p.m.





_________________________                                        September 20, 2022

Laura Christoplos Administrative Assistant II


Emergency Management

The Office of Emergency Management plans and prepares for emergencies, educates the public about preparedness, coordinates emergency response and recovery efforts and disseminates information during emergencies and disasters.