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Corey Smedley was sworn in as the 30th Alexandria Fire Chief at City Hall last night.

The 48-year-old Smedley, who is the city’s first permanent African American Fire Chief, took the oath of office Tuesday night in a packed house with his family, members of the Alexandria Fire Department and city leaders in attendance.

“There should be no ambiguity as the leader of the organization,” Smedley said. “I will help you succeed, I will help you lead or I will help you find the door.”

Mayor Justin Wilson said that Alexandria is a difficult community to serve.

“We expect a lot out of leaders in this community. We send them through the paces, we ask them as many questions as possible when we demand absolute excellence and they should expect nothing less than excellence,” Wilson said. “We are looking forward to great things. This is an exciting time for our fire department.”

Smedley was born in Washington D.C., raised in Maryland and lives in Chesapeake Beach, Md. He joined the department in 2015 as the deputy fire chief of emergency management and homeland security, after 20 years with the Prince George’s County Fire Department.

Smedley was named to Assistant Fire Chief of Administration last January, and was named the acting fire chief last summer after former Chief Robert Dubé unexpectedly announced his retirement.

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Morning Notes

APD Investigates Friday Night Robbery — “The Alexandria Police Department is investigating a commercial robbery in the 3100 block of Duke Street. Merchandise was taken and one minor Injury. Expect police activity in the area.” [Twitter]

Appointment for Former Fire Chief — “Former Alexandria, Va Fire Chief Robert Dubé has been appointed Deputy Director of the Virginia Department of Fire Programs, according to a press release issued Friday, January 10, 2020 from Governor Ralph Northam’s office.” [Zebra]

New Sephora Store Close to Opening — “Wood floors, lots of mirrors, and colorful walls are in place at the new Sephora makeup store in Old Town Alexandria. Sephora’s Alexandria store, at 810 King St., will open Jan. 24, according to the company.” [Alexandria Living]

Alexandria Holds Housing Summit — “Hundreds of residents and local leaders gathered in Alexandria, Virginia, for the city’s 2020 Housing Summit as local officials worked to take on the challenge of affordable housing. The full day event offered discussion on everything from housing for seniors and the 2013 Housing Master Plan to the development and preservation of affordable living.” [WTOP]

Federal Case Details Local Swatting Incidents — “Another false threat was called in to the Alexandria police last January; the caller claimed to have killed his girlfriend and taken her two children hostage. The address he gave was of a person protected by the U.S. Secret Service. A person familiar with the incident said it was resolved without fanfare after a call to the Secret Service” [Washington Post]

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Morning Notes

More on Alexandria’s New Fire Chief — Newly-appointed Alexandria Fire Chief Corey Smedley “is now working with the city manager’s office on a number of budget issues. He recently submitted a budget proposal to the city manager, and said that he is working to improve the pay for Alexandria’s first responders, which is among the lowest in the region.” [Zebra]

City Ready for Winter Weather — “Responding to winter weather events is a top priority for the City of Alexandria. City crews clear snow from more than 560 lane miles of roadway, 20 miles of City-owned walkways and trails, and 44 acres of municipal parking lots or City-owned squares.” [City of Alexandria]

Northam Proposes Nixing Vehicle Inspections — “Gov. Ralph Northam wants to end state-mandated vehicle safety inspections and cut vehicle registration fees in half, proposals his administration says would eventually save Virginians more than $280 million per year. But motorists would have to pay a few dollars more each time they fill up on gas under a proposal to increase the state’s motor vehicle fuels tax from about 22 cents per gallon to 34 cents per gallon over three years.” [Virginia Mercury]

Beyer Pushing for Quieter Airplanes — Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.), who has long advocated against excessive noise from aircraft landing at and taking off from Reagan National Airport, is calling on NASA to study ways to make commercial jetliners quieter and cleaner in a new bill. [Press Release]

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Morning Notes

Alexandria Has a New Fire Chief — “After a nationally competitive recruitment effort, City Manager Mark B. Jinks has appointed Corey A. Smedley as fire chief for the City of Alexandria, effective immediately. Chief Smedley, who has served as acting fire chief since the retirement of Robert C. Dubé in June, will be the first African American to serve as permanent fire chief in Alexandria’s history.” [City of Alexandria]

Dog’s Artwork Sells at Auction — “A new artist has captured the attention of local art lovers selling 20 pieces of art in less than an hour at an auction. All it took has a little tail wagging, and the dog nicknamed Ricasso had a collection of masterpieces. Rico, a dog staying at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria for 15 months, raised more than $4,000 to help shelter pets like him at the sold-out Dec. 6 event.” [Patch]

ACPS Year in Review — Alexandria City Public Schools has released a video recounting some of the top local school-related headlines of 2019. [ACPS]

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