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Councilmember Mitchell J. Brown Announces Retirement

Brown Will Complete His Current Term Ending December 31, 2021

Mitchell J. Brown Chambers

[COLUMBUS, OH] After nearly six years of service to the residents of Columbus, Councilmember Mitchell J. Brown announced his retirement effective December 31, 2021. He will not seek re-election.

"It has been an incredible journey," said Brown. "My 20 years of service to the City of Columbus, at both City Council and Public Safety, have been humbling, challenging and rewarding. I am a 13-year cancer survivor and have devoted my life to being a public servant. Now, I want to take the time to enjoy my family."

Brown joined Council in 2016 at the age of 68, bringing an extensive and distinguished career of public service to City Hall. He led the Veteran's Affairs, Seniors Services and Public Safety committees, where he dedicated himself to enhancing the relationship between our public safety forces and residents. Some of his accomplishments include providing funding to better address violence reduction, heart disease, mental health and addiction. He sponsored legislation that increased police bicycle patrols and created a residency incentive program for first responders. He emphasized innovative responses for the Division of Fire and EMS (i.e., the Mobile Stroke Treatment Unit), expanded life-saving training for law enforcement officers and provided support to our Senior citizens and veterans. 

Throughout his more than 40 years of government experience, Brown has held various roles in public safety and executive leadership positions in large government agencies. His passion and strong commitment to excellence have been the driving force in each position held. 

Brown began his career in public service as an Air Force paramedic. After leaving the Air Force, primarily considered a radical thinker devoted to "service above self," he championed an innovative pre-hospital emergency response protocol at Freedom House in Pittsburgh. That protocol included pre-hospital advanced cardiac life support, trauma care, and ambulance design and he was involved with cardio-pulmonary resuscitation research, all of which are the foundation for today's modern pre-hospital emergency medical response system. All of this was a precursor to the Emergency Medical Services System Act of 1973, which provided Federal Funding to initiate Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

A decade later, he brought that same passion to Ohio when he was recruited by then mayor George V. Voinovich to serve as Cleveland's Emergency Medical Services Commissioner. He went on to serve as the Director of the Department of Public Safety in Cleveland. When Voinovich was elected Governor, he recruited Brown to serve as the Registrar for the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and later as the Director for the Ohio Department of Public Safety. He went on to serve as the Director of the Ohio Lottery Commission under the Taft Administration.

In April 2000, Brown was recruited by former Mayor Michael B. Coleman to serve as the Director of Public Safety for the City of Columbus. Brown, the longest-serving City of Columbus Safety Director, oversaw the Division of Police, Division of Fire and Division of Support Services' operation. He retired from that position in 2015.

For his dedication to Fire Safety and EMS, the Mitchell J. Brown Fire Station #3, located at 222 Greenlawn Avenue, was dedicated in his honor in 2015. Brown was also responsible for the construction of multiple fire stations, the Fire Training Academy, as well as multiple police substations and the James G. Jackson Police Training Academy.

In his last year on Council, Brown will continue to dedicate himself to the safety and wellbeing of the city and its residents. He leaves his colleagues with a sentiment that has guided his many years of public service, "Continue to adjust your expectations, but always keep your standards high," Brown continued. "It has been an honor to serve Columbus."