Montgomery County Council to Hold Committee Meetings on Oct. 2, 2023

The Planning, Housing and Parks (PHP) Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. to receive a briefing from representatives of the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) on code enforcement and troubled properties. The members of the PHP Committee include Chair Andrew Friedson and Councilmembers Natali Fani-González and Will Jawando.

The joint PS and Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee will meet at 1:30 p.m. to receive a briefing on 911 emergency response and emergency department hospital wait times. The members of the HHS Committee include Chair Gabe Albornoz and Councilmembers Luedtke and Laurie-Anne Sayles.
More detail on each agenda item is provided below.

Montgomery County Police Department Staffing Changes for Rockville and Gaithersburg

Briefing: The PS Committee will receive a briefing on MCPD staffing changes for the cities of Rockville and Gaithersburg, which would change how MCPD responds to calls in these two cities. Under the planned change, the Rockville City Police Department (RCPD) and the Gaithersburg Police Department (GPD) will assume full and primary response duties for calls for service within their respective municipality limits.

Currently, both city and County police officers have concurrent authority and responsibility for the enforcement of all applicable County and state laws within the boundaries of the two cities. MCPD would continue to assist both RCPD and GPD on priority calls for service and also provide backup assistance to ensure that public and officer safety is not jeopardized.

Bill 32-23, Police – Policing Advisory Commission – Amendments

Review: The PS Committee will review Bill 32-23, Police – Policing Advisory Commission – Amendments. The bill would rename the Policing Advisory Commission so that it will now be known as the Community Advisory Commission on Public Safety; amend the law regarding the Policing Advisory Commission, the appointment of members and scope of the commission; and generally amend the law regarding policing, public safety and law enforcement. The lead sponsor is Councilmember Luedtke.

Code Enforcement and Troubled Properties

Briefing: The PHP Committee will receive a briefing from representatives of DHCA on code enforcement and troubled properties. The briefing is a follow up on the committee’s March 14 meeting to obtain updates from DHCA on its code enforcement and inspection activities to date. DHCA will also provide an overview of its FY23 Troubled Property Report, which was released on Sept. 15. These properties are defined as rental housing, which, because of the severity and quantity of violations, is subject to annual inspections by DHCA and requires the development and implementation of a corrective action plan.

911 Response and Emergency Department Wait Times

Briefing: The joint PS and HHS Committee will receive a briefing on 911 emergency response and emergency department hospital wait times. Emergency department wait times can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the specific hospital, time of day, day of the week and patient volume. Emergency department wait times can indirectly impact the availability of Emergency Medical and Integrated Healthcare Services (EMS) units.

The Approved FY23 Operating Budget included funding for a new EMS capacity officer, a position to help coordinate patient transport to hospitals and balance emergency department patient volumes. The permanent position is expected to help both EMS transports and hospital emergency departments run more efficiently.

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