Baltimore County News
Baltimore County is a national leader in terms of diversity in public safety agencies
This morning, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and Fire Chief John Hohman honored Assistant Fire Chief Jennifer Aubert-Utz, whose recent promotion makes her the highest ranking woman in the history of the Baltimore County Fire Department. Assistant Chief is the second highest rank in the fire department.
The Baltimore County Fire Department is recognized nationally as a leader in promoting gender diversity, with women making up some 20% of its sworn members, compared to the national average, which is in the single digits. The previously highest ranking female was A. Danelle England-Dansicker, a Division Chief, who retired in 2005.
“I am very proud of Assistant Chief Aubert-Utz’s achievement, and now little girls all around the County know that they could grow up to one day become the Fire Chief,” said Kamenetz.
Aubert-Utz holds a master’s degree in management with a concentration in public safety leadership from Johns Hopkins University, and she completed the four-year Executive Fire Officer program at the National Fire Academy in 2015. She has devoted time to Mothers Against Drunk Driving and has taken a particular interest in pedestrian safety concerns, serving on pedestrian safety committees for the County and the Baltimore Metropolitan Council. A Parkville resident, she has served in the Fire Department for 17 years.
“In addition to being extremely conscientious, forward-thinking and a real self-starter, Assistant Chief Aubert-Utz is a natural leader who has a uniquely effective way of mentoring people to draw out their individual strengths and inspire them to succeed,” said Fire Chief John Hohman. “She has earned the respect of our personnel with her vision and skills, and it is not so remarkable that she is a woman, but that she is so talented. She is recognized across the country for her leadership and is a role model and leader for both men and women in the fire service.”
“I feel honored to be chosen as the first woman to attain the rank of Assistant Chief," Aubert-Utz said. "I hope I can inspire other young women to pursue careers in community service."
"I'm familiar with Chief Aubert-Utz's excellent reputation from when she worked in my district and congratulate her on her quick ascension through the ranks," said Baltimore County Council Chair Tom Quirk.
Promotions Accompany Reorganization of Operations Bureau
Police Chief Jim Johnson has promoted two new colonels, one to supervise the Criminal Investigations Bureau and another to supervise the Operations Bureau.
The promotions accompany a reorganization of the Police Department's existing Operations Bureau, currently comprising Patrol, the Criminal Investigations Division and Support Operations, an 1,800-member bureau. The new structure approved last week by Chief Johnson will produce two commands of more manageable size, a change designed to improve efficiency and quality of supervision.
Evan M. Cohen, Criminal Investigations Bureau
Evan M. Cohen, 56, will serve as the Colonel in charge of the Criminal Investigations Bureau, supervising the Baltimore County Police Department (BCoPD) sections that investigate the most serious crimes. Cohen currently serves as the Major in charge of CID, a command to which he was appointed in 2012. A 33-year veteran of BCoPD, his career includes extensive command experience in both Patrol and Operations, as well as Internal Affairs and Human Resources.
Alexander D. Jones, Operations Bureau
Alexander D. Jones, 46, will serve as the Colonel in charge of the Operations Bureau, supervising the 10 precincts, patrol operations and all support operations. A 20-year BCoPD member, Jones currently serves as Major in charge of the Patrol Division, a command to which he was appointed in 2011. Jones has spent his career in Operations and Patrol.
Jones becomes the highest-ranking minority member in BCoPD and the second African American to hold the rank of Colonel, the second-highest rank in the police hierarchy.
Experience and Diversity
"We are fortunate in Baltimore County to have the opportunity to promote commanders of such experience and integrity," said Chief Johnson.
County Executive Kevin Kamenetz expressed confidence in Cohen and Jones as leaders and noted that the promotions mark another step in the County's commitment to diversity at all ranks of its public safety agencies. "These promotions are an important move toward a police department that reflects and understands its citizenry."