Governor-elect Wolf Announces Heads of State Police, PEMA, Fire, and Military and Veterans

January 15, 2015 by Wolf Transition Press

York, PA - Governor-elect Tom Wolf today announced that he has selected Colonel Marcus L. Brown, currently the superintendent of the Maryland State Police, to be the commissioner of the Pennsylvania State Police. 

Wolf also announced that he has chosen Richard Flinn, who now serves as the deputy director of operations at the Federal Emergency Management Agency and is the former deputy director for operations for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, to lead the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, as well as former Senator Timothy Solobay to be the commissioner of the Pennsylvania Office of Fire. 

Wolf has also chosen Major General James R. Joseph, who is now serving as the special assistant to the combatant commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command for National Guard Matters, to be the Adjutant General at the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs.
 
"The individuals I announced today are highly-capable and well-respected officials with years of law enforcement, emergency management, and military service experience," said Governor-elect Tom Wolf.
 
"Colonel Marcus Brown has been in law enforcement for 25 years and has improved each law agency he has led. As the head of the Maryland State Police, he led a commitment to a diverse workforce by recruiting in areas with high minority populations and historically black colleges. As a result of his leadership, the Maryland State Police is one of the most diverse agencies in the region. Col. Brown has also improved collaboration between state and local law enforcement agencies, which has resulted in reduced statewide crime rates and a decrease in traffic fatalities. The Pennsylvania State Police are the commonwealth's top law enforcement agency, and Col. Brown has the experience and vision necessary to serve in the role of commissioner."
 
"Richard Flinn has decades of experience at the state and federal levels in emergency management, which is why I have chosen him to lead the agency tasked with saving lives, reducing suffering, and protecting property and the environment. Flinn has the skill set and experience to provide the proper management of this essential agency in the unfortunate event of a natural disaster or weather emergency."
 
"With more than 38 years of fire service, Tim Solobay is a great fit for the Office of Fire. Tim is currently the assistant fire chief at the Canonsburg Volunteer Fire Company and he is a former president of the Washington County Fireman's Association. Over his more than three decades of fire service, Tim has received multiple awards and recognitions and has dedicated himself to improving the atmosphere for fire service. His experience is the reason I chose him to lead this important office."
 
"If Pennsylvania is going to be a safe and prosperous state, we must work to support the members of the Pennsylvania National Guard (PNG), as well as provide greater opportunity for Pennsylvania’s veterans. General Joseph shares this vision, and as the Adjutant General, he will ensure the PNG is prepared to serve our commonwealth and civilian community in times of peace and emergency," Wolf concluded.
 
Colonel Marcus L. Brown - commissioner, Pennsylvania State Police. As superintendent of the Maryland State Police, Col. Brown led the agency's effort to renew its commitment to a diverse workforce by adopting a “targeted event” recruiting strategy in areas with high minority populations and historically black colleges. As a result, the Maryland State Police is one of the most diverse agencies in the region. Colonel Brown has also overseen the creation of the Special Operations Bureau and the reorganization of the Criminal Investigation Bureau. These changes allowed the Maryland State Police to focus on inter-jurisdictional statewide crime and improved their ability to work with local law enforcement agencies. These changes resulted in historic reductions in statewide crime and traffic fatalities. Under Colonel Brown’s leadership, the Maryland State Police became nationally accredited for the first time in 2014. The department is the first state police agency in the country to receive the CALEA Tri-Arc Award for accreditation in law enforcement, communications, and training.
 
Richard Flinn - director, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. While at FEMA, Flinn has overseen the development and implementation of standard operating procedures, policies, and doctrine that has institutionalized watch procedures including trigger points for notifications and checklists for actions that watch officers take, when an incident occurs and who and when senior leaders are notified. While previously at the commonwealth, Flinn supervised the acquisition and development of Pennsylvania's crisis management system and he led the development of a $250 million federal grant.
 
Timothy Solobay - commissioner, Office of Fire. Timothy Solobay has over 38 years in fire service and is currently the assistant fire chief at the Canonsburg Volunteer Fire Company. Tim has served in fire service for more than three decades and he has received multiple awards and recognitions, and has dedicated himself to improving the atmosphere for fire service. Tim also spent his time in the General Assembly fighting for legislation to improve fire services and deliver more resources to fire and emergency service companies. Solobay was instrumental in providing millions annually for fire and emergency service across the commonwealth.
 
Major General James R. Joseph - The Adjutant General, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. Major General James R. Joseph started his military service in 1971, and shortly after completed a tour of duty in Vietnam. General Joseph joined the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in 1974. He also served as Assistant Division Commander, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Previously, General Joseph served as Assistant Adjutant General - Army, Pennsylvania National Guard.

Full Biographies:
 
Colonel Marcus L. Brown is the superintendent of the Maryland State Police.  He has a 25-year career in law enforcement, the majority of which was with the Baltimore City Police Department.  While in that department he served as the commander of Special Operations, Internal Affairs, Northwest Patrol District and Legal Affairs.  He finished his career in Baltimore as the Deputy Commissioner of Operations, which is the second highest-ranking position in the department. In 2007, he was appointed chief of the Maryland Transportation Authority Police where he remained until he was appointed Superintendent of the Maryland State Police in August 2011. As Superintendent, Colonel Brown has overseen the creation of the Special Operations Bureau and the reorganization of the Criminal Investigation Bureau. These changes allowed the Maryland State Police to focus on inter-jurisdictional statewide crime and improved their ability to effect local crime trends. Under Brown’s leadership, the Maryland State Police’s strong relationship with local law enforcement, have resulted in historic reductions in statewide crime and traffic fatalities. Colonel Brown holds a Bachelor of Science in Business and Marketing from Pennsylvania State University as well as a Juris Doctor from the University of Baltimore School of Law.
 
Richard Flinn joined the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as the Deputy Director of the Operations Division in 2010. He assisted the Director by overseeing the National Response Coordination Center, the National Watch Center, the FEMA Operations Center at Mount Weather, the National Incident Management Teams and the National Urban Search and Rescue Program. Prior to FEMA, Flinn served as the Deputy Director for Operations for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency. Prior to joining PEMA, Flinn worked for the Governor’s Office of Administration as the Special Assistant for Continuity of Government. Before coming to state government, Flinn was the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council, a non-profit organization mandated by state law to serve as the State Advisory Council to the Secretary of Health on all matters pertaining to emergency health services. Flinn also has over 35 years of military experience and retired in December 2013 as the Commander of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Medical Detachment headquartered at Fort Indiantown Gap with the rank of Colonel. This 115 member unit is responsible for the medical readiness of the 15,000 soldiers of the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. He has a Master’s Degree in Governmental Administration from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s of Science in Health Planning and Administration from Penn State University. He is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff School. In addition, Flinn has over 40 years of experience in emergency serving as a firefighter, EMT and Paramedic. He also was a Fire Chief for the Hampden Township Volunteer Fire Company, in Cumberland County Pennsylvania.
 
Timothy J. Solobay is a former Democratic member of the Pennsylvania State Senate, representing District 46 from 2010 to 2014. Solobay also served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, representing District 48 from 1999 to 2010. Solobay, who has over 38 years in fire service, is currently assistant fire chief at the Canonsburg Volunteer Fire Company, where he has served in various capacities since 1978. Solobay is also a former president and current member of the Washington County Fireman’s Association, where he has been since 2000. While serving in the Pennsylvania General Assembly, Solobay was the author of legislation that provides $30 million in grant funding on an annual basis for fire and emergency service groups across the commonwealth. Solobay has a bachelor’s degree from California Coast University and one from California University of PA. Solobay lives in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
 
Major General James R. Joseph is the special assistant to the combatant commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command and United States Northern Command for National Guard Matters and liaison to the chief, National Guard Bureau, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. In this position, he serves as the principle advisor to the combatant commander on matters concerning homeland defense, civil support and aerospace defense under the operational range of interest of the Army and Air National Guard. General Joseph began his military career as an enlisted soldier in 1971. He completed a tour of duty in Vietnam, where he was assigned to the 716th Military Police Battalion and completed his active duty tour at Fort Polk, Louisiana, with the 258th Military Police Company. General Joseph joined the Pennsylvania Army National Guard in 1974 and was assigned as a combat engineer with Company C, 876th Engineer Battalion. He also served as Assistant Division Commander, 28th Infantry Division, Pennsylvania Army National Guard. Prior to his present assignment, General Joseph served as Assistant Adjutant General - Army, Pennsylvania National Guard, Annville, Pennsylvania. He earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Shippensburg University; graduated from the Army War College; the Defense Policy Seminar, Elliott School of International Studies, George Washington University; National Preparedness Leadership Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School of Government; and General and Flag Officer Homeland Security Seminar, Harvard School of Executive Education, to mention a few. General Joseph is retired from a career in law enforcement, and was the former director, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

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