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About Councilmember Brown

Mitchell J. Brown returned to Council in January 2023. He retired in 2021 after serving several years as a councilmember. Brown is fulfilling the unexpired term of former Councilmember Elizabeth Brown.

He began his public service career as a paramedic. In the late 60’s, he championed a radical emergency medical response protocol designed to provide pre-hospital emergency care to residents in Pittsburgh, PA. This effort sparked a medical revolution. The experiment known as “Freedom House,” was the beginning of today’s modern paramedic and ambulance response system.  

A decade later, he took that same passion and commitment to excellence to Cleveland, Ohio, where he served as the Commissioner for Emergency Medical Services in the Department of Public Safety. There, Brown developed and implemented the Paramedic Training Institute and created the Advanced Life Support Program. Brown became the City of Cleveland’s Director of the Department of Public Safety in 1986 and instituted a plethora of initiatives that enhanced the quality of life for residents.

Public service is ingrained in Brown, from leading St. Vincent Charity Hospital Health Center department of Surgery Division of Trauma as the Administrative Director to becoming Registrar for the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles and then the Director of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, the former United States Air Force serviceman has diligently and passionately protected and served citizens throughout the nation for more than 40 years.

Brown was appointed Director of the City of Columbus Department of Public Safety in April 2000 where he oversaw the operation of the Division of Police, Division of Fire, and Division of Support Services.

Under his direction, Public Safety thrived. The Division of Fire obtained accreditation status, the training academy was built, seven fire stations were constructed and emergency medical delivery to residents was redesigned. This effort placed a medic at each station. He oversaw the purchase of 201 fire apparatus, obtained $34 million in homeland security grants, implemented an emergency medical billing structure that generated over $100 million in revenue for the city and appointed the city’s first African-American Fire Chief.

Councilmember Brown resides on the Far East Side with his wife Rebecca. The two have one daughter, Lindsay.