In the aftermath of the Dallas attacks, a new beacon of hope and excellence has emerged: Dallas Police Chief David Brown, a man who knows tragedy, as it has struck his own backyard.
Chief David Brown, the Dallas Police Chief, refused to make an opinion on gun control, but told lawmakers to “do their job”
He acknowledged that open carry laws make policing harder. “It’s hard to tell the ‘good guy with a gun’ from the ‘bad guy with a gun’
A past marred by tragedy and violence, Brown has fought to be an exceptional Police Chief
He has reduced crime and increased standards, as well as reforming the use of lethal force
He is no stranger to tragedy: his brother and son were both killed in violent confrontation
This week has been a terrible week for law enforcement officials. After the horrible events of Dallas, people have been asking themselves the exact same question we ask after every single mass shooting: how can this be prevented?
Well the Dallas Police Chief finally spoke up about this, when he told lawmakers to “Do your jobs”. When asked his opinion about gun laws he was simple. Lawmakers need to do their jobs. “put a law out there and I’d give you an opinion about it. But to have me do that job, I’ll pass… Do your job. We’re doing ours. We’re putting our lives on the line, the other aspect of government needs to step up and help us” Chief Brown said in a press conference earlier this week.
Open Carry Laws Make it Difficult
Chief Brown also addressed the problems with Open Carry laws. He directly spoke about the problem: “the presumption that a good guy with a gun is the best way to resolve some of these things, well, we don’t know who the good guy is vs who the bad guy is if everybody starts shooting”. This could not be more evident with the case of Mark Hughes, who was wrongfully accused of being one of the shooters because he was openly carrying an AR-15 assault rifle. In the end, it turned out that he was just one of the ‘good guys with a gun’, but the police were unable to make that distinction at the time.
Chief Brown has been an absolute model for law enforcement in this time of crisis. he has remained calm and collected during this unexpected and unprecedented trial, and he has urged for everyone to come together, and promoted peace and unity, rather than dividing the group and increasing tension and violence.
But Chief Brown’s test is not yet over, as today will be the first funeral for the slain police officers, and it will be an extremely emotional and difficult day for all law enforcement, particularly Chief Brown. He has the makings of a great leader, and if he can get through the rest of the week with poise and control, who knows what his future will hold. The spotlight is on him, and he has yet to falter.
Who is Chief David Brown?
David Brown, age 55, has a very dark past that has motivated him to become a spectacular example of law enforcement. He dropped out of the University of Texas (he intended to become a prosecutor), in order to enroll in the Police Academy. He did this because “around , the crack-cocaine epidemic hit Dallas pretty hard. My friends who stayed here became involved in that, and it broke my heart” Brown said. He joined up in 1983, and later patrolled his old neighborhood. In 1988, Brown experience the loss of his former partner and classmate at the Police Academy, Walter Williams, a father of three. Brown comforted and cared for the family in this time of grief. Only three years later, he was struck with another tragedy, as his younger brother was killed by drug dealers in 1991. Few details are available, as brown is an extremely private man, but he acknowledges that this has pained him and it will remain a piece of him.
Then, in 2010, David Brown faced the most awful personal tragedy imaginable, as his son (who bore the same name as his father), age 27, shot and killed two people, one of which was a police officer. His son, who was bi-polar had gone into what his girlfriend called a ‘psychotic episode’, and had ended up killing a police officer and another man before being killed in a shootout with responding officers. An autopsy revealed PCP in his son’s system. So in one day, Chief brown lost not only one of his own officers, but his son as well.
Regardless of all these personal struggles, Brown is an incredible Police officer, who holds an MBA from Amberton University, as well as graduating from the FBI National Academy. He was responsible for huge drops in crime over his career, and is known for being extremely tough with his officers, reprimanding them publicly, and even firing them. he has fought ruthlessly with the Police Unions to ensure his officers maintain the highest standards. He was responsible for bringing body cams to the department, and he increased foot patrols in high risk areas and reformed the guidelines on the use of deadly force. He has also worked to lessen the divide between the police and the citizens, which is an exceptional project, as a re all the others.
It is at times like these that we are lucky to have such a qualified and professional Police Chief in the public spotlight. Hopefully we all can learn from the exceptional role model that is Chief David Brown, and if all f our departments try to emulate him, maybe something will be done.