Mark Landahl

Mark Landahl, who arrived in the Rockville City Police Department last month to serve as the city’s emergency manager, said he is excited for the opportunity to take on the newly created role and build it from the ground up.

“I am very excited for the future and what we can build here in a great community,” Landahl said.

Landahl brings 18 years of experience as a member of the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office. Most recently he served as the office’s homeland security commander, overseeing agency preparedness, prevention and protection. He also served as a liaison to local, state and federal agencies, including as manager of the office’s school resource program. He previously served as supervisor of the office’s homeland security section and as an investigator assigned to the Maryland-Delaware Joint Terrorism Task Force.

As Rockville’s emergency manager, Landahl will create an emergency preparedness plan for all city departments and strategies to help the city mitigate, respond to and recover from emergencies. The role offers an opportunity for Landahl to work with Rockville police Chief Victor Brito. The two previously worked together when Brito was police chief in Hagerstown and Landahl commanded the state’s western regional center for information sharing among law enforcement agencies.

Before working in law enforcement, Landahl served as a staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives, and as a history and government teacher in North Carolina and in Frederick County. In 2001, while training to become a sheriff’s deputy, and having second thoughts about leaving teaching, the field of emergency preparedness came into a new and heightened focus.

“On 9/11, I was in the academy and huddled around a radio listening to the descriptions,” he said. “At that moment I knew I was in the right place.”
While no longer his primary profession, Landahl has not left education. He teaches homeland security and emergency management courses at several schools, including the University of Maryland Global Campus, Florida International University and Frederick Community College. He also frequently speaks at national conferences and has published in several academic journals. He is presently researching survivor behavior in response to campus active shooter events.

Landahl holds a doctorate in emergency management from Oklahoma State University and is one of 1,375 people worldwide designated a Certified Emergency Manager by the International Association of Emergency Managers.