WESTMINSTER, MD, Monday, July 3, 2023 – The Board of County Commissioners is pleased to announce the promotion of Ms. Valerie Hawkins as the new Carroll County Government Director of Public Safety. Ms. Hawkins has been acting director of the department since January 2023.  The new title is immediate.

Ms. Hawkins has worked for Carroll County for over 10 years, serving as emergency management data analyst, emergency management assistant manager, emergency management manager, acting director and now promoted to director of the Department of Public Safety. Her recent role as emergency management manager involved coordinating mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery efforts associated with emergencies. Ms. Hawkins provided administrative direction in the execution of proactive emergency management programs with a goal to reduce the risk of injury and loss of life in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. As director, she will now manage all emergency management operations of Carroll County, ensuring efficient operation of the Emergency Communication Center and Emergency Operations Center in support of police, fire, and emergency services. Her responsibilities will include coordinating with the Carroll County Department of Fire & EMS, Carroll County Sheriff’s Department, municipal police departments and others throughout Carroll County, the state and region to apply a range of strategies relevant to public safety.

Director Hawkins has been dedicated to public service since embarking on her emergency services career in 1997.  Her varied experiences as an American Red Cross Disaster Services responder and instructor, a paramedic in Carroll County, a public health emergency preparedness planner, and in the field of emergency management provide a well-rounded perspective to her leadership role in emergency management operations.

Ms. Hawkins is a graduate of Liberty High School in Sykesville and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Emergency Management from University of Maryland University College. She has a significant number of emergency management certifications and involvement in professional associations as well as an extensive number of continuing education credits through the Emergency Management Institute.

Valerie has lived in Carroll County for 44 years including in Sykesville, Westminster and Winfield.  She currently is a volunteer with the New Windsor Fire and Hose Company No. 1 and is an adjunct instructor for the Mid-Atlantic Center for Emergency Management and Public Safety at Frederick Community College.

“Public safety is a priority for the county and this position is a critical management role. I have so much confidence in Valerie’s knowledge and experience as I witnessed firsthand her management and coordination during the pandemic” said Commissioner Ed Rothstein, President of the Board of Commissioners.  “She has extensive local, state and regional contacts and has proved to be an excellent leader in the emergency management field. She has served well as the acting director and I am pleased to acknowledge her experience and dedication to Carroll County and its citizens with a well-deserved promotion.”

Ms. Hawkins said, “I am honored to be selected to serve in this position and am excited about the opportunity to use my knowledge, skills and experience to lead the Department of Public Safety as we meet the challenges of the future.”