About Councilmember Navarro

I serve as the Council Vice-President and the Montgomery County Councilmember representing District 4. I am the chair of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee and also serve on the Health and Human Services Committee.

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August 8, 2012

Wheaton Public Safety Memo






August 8, 2012
TO: Councilmembers
FROM: Council Vice President Nancy Navarro and Councilmember Hans Riemer
SUBJECT: Wheaton Public Safety Working Group

The Wheaton Public Safety Working Group is an element of the Montgomery County Council’s
efforts to revitalize Wheaton’s downtown core. While crime has reportedly decreased in
Wheaton, public perception of safety in the area remains mixed. Public safety is integral in the
overall revitalization effort and shaping attitudes concerning Wheaton’s future.
On Monday, July 9th we met with Montgomery County Chief of Police J. Thomas Manger, 4th
District Commander John Damskey, Mid-County Regional Services Center Director Ana Lopez
Van Balen and Wheaton Urban District Operations Manager Joe Callaway to discuss ways of
bringing community stakeholders together to discuss public safety in downtown Wheaton and
follow through on outstanding recommendations presented by the Wheaton Public Safety Audit
Task Force in October of 2004. The meeting started with an analysis of the 2004 Task Force
recommendations, many of which continue to be relevant today.
Scope of the Initiative:
The scope of the Wheaton Public Safety Working Group will be to study and implement ways of
improving public safety, quality of life, and perceptions of downtown Wheaton as it relates to
revitalization efforts. The Working Group will focus on the following areas:
• Review, evaluate and seek to implement outstanding recommendations from the 2004
Task Force report;
• Establish a community outreach mechanism similar to the Briggs Chaney/IDA Sector
Community Meeting model;
• Educate residents and business owners about Wheaton revitalization and redevelopment
• Identify gaps or possible areas of improvement in current public safety services in
• Develop strategies to improve perceptions about public safety in Wheaton;
• Provide recommendations, as necessary, to the County Executive and Council.
Participants for Proposed Initiative:
Membership of this Working Group will be comprised of government agencies, civic
associations, residents and business owners. Members will include:
• Representatives from the Offices of Councilmembers Navarro and Riemer;
• Mid-County Regional Services Center Director Ana Lopez van Balen;
• 4th District Police Commander John Damskey (or designee);
• A representative from the Mid-County Citizens Advisory Board, the Wheaton Urban
District Advisory Board (WUDAC), and the Wheaton Redevelopment Advisory
Committee (WRAC);
• A representative from Westfield Mall;
• A representative from the Wheaton and Kensington Chamber of Commerce;
• A representative from Montgomery County Public Schools and Parent-Teacher
• Representatives from neighborhood civic associations; and
• Wheaton business owners and residents.
Staff Support:
The Working Group will receive staff support from the Executive Branch, including the Mid-
County Regional Services Center, Wheaton Urban District, and Montgomery County Police
Community oriented policing requires strong, collaborative partnerships among government,
business and residents. This initiative carries on the mission of the 2004 Public Safety Audit
Task Force to alter the existing perception that Wheaton is unsafe, while also taking into
consideration Wheaton’s ongoing revitalization—both through public and private investments.
As long-time supporters of its redevelopment effort, we believe the Public Safety Working
Group is one more way we can demonstrate Wheaton continues to be a top priority.
             CC: J. Thomas Manger, Chief, Montgomery County Police Department
                   John Damskey, Commander, 4th District Police Station
                  Ana Lopez van Balen, Mid-County Regional Services Center Director
                  Joe Callaway, Wheaton Urban District Operations Manager
                  Rob Klein, Wheaton Redevelopment Program Manager
                  Peter McGinnity, Manager, Business Development & Intergovernmental Program
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