Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley announced a new slate of top public safety officers Thursday afternoon, nominating a new police chief, fire chief and director of emergency operations.
Buckley picked Ed Jackson for police chief, the result of a nationwide search that started earlier this year with the dismissal of Scott Baker.
Jackson spent 21 years with the Baltimore Police Department retiring as a colonel in 2004. He served on Baltimore’s Community Oversight Task Force as a citizen, which led to his return to the department as inspector general in 2018. There he helped carry out a consent decree between the city and the U.S. Department of Justice mandating sweeping police reforms — 500-plus pages worth, he said.
“I love being a police. I love solving problems. I love people. I love helping people, and helping people solve their problems," he said.
Baltimore Chief of Media Relations Matt Jablow said new Commissioner Michael Harrison restructured the department when he came to the city in March, and Jackson left.
Deputy Chief Douglas Remaley was picked as the fire chief, and will replace retiring Chief David Stokes at the end of August. Remaley has worked for the department his entire career, and grew up in Annapolis as well.
He said their call volume and the need for emergency medical services is constantly increasing, so they need to train and hire more paramedics.
“We are a great department with great personnel working for us,” he said. “We’ve made excellent strides and we need to continue moving forward for the citizens of Annapolis.”
The mayor made formal his nomination of Deputy Fire Chief Kevin Simmons as the director of the new Office of Emergency Management Department. Simmons nomination was made public earlier this year. He has overseen the Office of Emergency Management for nine years under the fire department, but now will report directly to the mayor and the city manager.
“It takes my core mission of mitigation, preparation, response and recovery and puts it at the highest level of government,” Simmons said.
Flooding downtown could become a daily occurrence by 2050 if officials don’t act, he said. Part of his job now will be securing the money to pay for an $11 million project with pump stations and backfill preventers to curtail flooding, he said.
The city will host a community meeting to introduce the three at 7 p. m. July 29, at the “Pip” Moyer Recreation Center. The appointments must be approved by the City Council before the picks are officials. Buckley has convened a special City Council meeting at 3 p.m. July 31.
Jackson and Simmons will be sworn in immediately if confirmed. Remaley will be sworn in on Aug. 26, when Stokes steps down.
Jackson, 60, has also served as program director in the criminal justice program at Baltimore City Community College, and is presently a PhD candidate at Capella University. If confirmed, he will make $161,288.
Remaley, 52, started with the department in 1986 as a firefighter and medic. He was promoted to deputy chief in 2007. He retired and then rejoined the department as deputy chief in 2017. He will be paid $158,252.
Simmons, 61, has been a deputy chief since 2010, following a 27-year career with the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue. He will be paid $157,480.
All three said they were excited not just for the job, but to be a part of a public safety team. All three said at some point in their careers they have experienced times when their department was in a silo, creating issues such as duplication.
“I think you have a good group of professionals now who, through a lot of experience, are pretty battle hardened. And they understand the team work aspect of public safety,” Simmons said.
Responses to issues such as opioids, active shooters and even hurricanes aren’t on one department, Simmons said — it’s on all three.