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A new day in Leesburg: Brown sworn in as police chief

Gregory Brown was sworn in Thursday as the Town of Leesburg’s new police chief. Courtesy Photo/Town of Leesburg
Gregory Brown was sworn in Thursday as the Town of Leesburg's fifth chief of police and the first black man to serve in the position.

Brown takes over at a time of intense racial tension across the nation stemming from police shootings and killings of unarmed black men. The new police chief addressed the challenges ahead in brief remarks.

“In the past few years, law enforcement agencies have met a number of challenges in addition to fighting crime and reducing the fear of crime in respective communities – challenges with community trust, challenges with transparency, challenges with technology, challenges with recruitment and retention, and challenges with serving an increasingly diverse population,” Brown said. “These challenges have caused law enforcement leaders to explore new and creative ways at providing police services to the communities they serve. But often we revert back to basic, proven service delivery strategies such as outreach, education, awareness, prevention, intervention, treatment and referral, and fair and impartial policing when appropriate.”

Brown, who holds a master's degree in justice administration, is a former captain with the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office. He was a commander of the Eastern Loudoun Station, and previously supervised patrol operations, criminal investigations and undercover operations in vice, narcotic and gangs with the LCSO. He has also served as the deputy director overseeing all basic law enforcement training at the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy.

"We, as your peace officers, much remain approachable, professional, friendly and fair, but firm in our approach when serving and protecting the public," Brown said. He used the phrase "peace officers" on more than one occasion Thursday night.

The town's police department is currently about 20 officers short of a full force, one challenge Brown will immediately walk into when he assumes his duties Monday.

Leesburg town staff and Town Council searched far and wide throughout the hiring process, examining 88 applicants from across the nation.

The police chief vacancy comes after the retirement of 16-year chief Joseph Price.

Leesburg created the position of police chief in 1964. From 1961-1964, the town manager served as the police chief, and prior to that, the mayor was the town's top law enforcement officer.


Related coverage:

-"New Leesburg chief of police ready to take the helm"

Comments


I thought that this was a newspaper not a soap box - “Brown takes over at a time of intense racial tension across the nation stemming from police shootings and killings of unarmed black men”  They are making seem like it’s fact that all the shootings are of unarmed black men, when the opposite is true - they were armed criminals engaged in breaking the law.


Just a question, I noticed that Chairwoman Randall attended his swearing-in ceremony and appeared to attach her reputation to Chief Brown’s in her Sep 29 Facebook post.  I was simply recommending Chief Brown set his own course rather than trying to emulate our many (flawed) politicians.

As I’ll reiterate, all of the LCSO officers I have met have been very professional and knowledgeable.  I cannot say the same for many of our Loudoun officials outside LCSO.  A friend pointed out how these officers are paid $10K less than similar positions in neighboring jurisdictions.  I haven’t verified that info but if true, it is truly a shame.  Chief Brown, like so many LCSO employees, appear to be highly honorable and we are fortunate they stick around to serve Loudoun.

It’s just unfortunate that some of our politicians are not underpaid enough to want to pursue opportunities in neighboring districts.  The wrong folks are leaving.


Just a Question - either you haven’t lived in Loudoun long enough, don’t dig deep enough into politics (left and right) or are just blind. Politics play a part in every aspect of his court case and Mr. Brown being hired. Old school relationships are still extremely strong in this County, and my quaint Town, that appear to portray the opposite image.


RFoster - his race was a factor, a major factor, in his hiring per the Leesburg Town Council. The Leesburg Diversity Commission was established by our Liberal Mayor and Town Council to promote non-whites within the Town work force? Mr. Brown does have an exceptional resume, and appears to a good, educated Christian family man looking out for our community, but as a resident living in Leesburg, was he the most qualified? Mr. Brown will soon realize that Town politics control policing…..


SGP-What does his appointment have anything to do with your court case?

I hope that he does a great job the several times that I have been able to interact with him he seems like an outstanding officer.


Virginia - Chief Brown can be expected to be a good servant to our community as a whole; however, now is a servant to a Political Machine, that you are fully aware of, as the Town of Leesburg Government, has many within its ranks, that allow their liberal ideology to push the police agenda, not always his. Sadly, Mr. Brown wasn’t hired exclusively due to his merits, although he does have exceptional merits, which is based on comments conveyed by Appointed Mayor David Butler on several separate occasions. There has and will continue to be a push to hire a more diverse town work force even though a significant amount of those hired live outside town proper, and in my opinion, don’t represent or look out for my town, the way the I would expect them to (similar to most of the Town Council unwisely spending our/my money). My biggest disappointment with Mr. Brown, or his prioritized issues, and my National, State, County and Town Governments, is that they readily allow the gangs, and common illegal criminals, to prey upon my town as a whole, and the legal and illegal residents of my town. Leesburg has a significant Latino population and the police department has always and will always be incapable of addressing problems similar to 15+ years ago when the DC crews controlled the Plaza Street extended projects, as Regional and Federal Task Forces were essentially the only effective control as the gang members (even when fully forced, but now we are reported 20 officers short of a full force) are currently largely illegal and mobile, much of the crime is unreported and our local police rarely gets any Intel regardless of their “we have great community policing skills”. I pray that the ideology of the town government doesn’t rear its ugly head as we rarely have race or police issues within our town, but I’ve sensed that the liberals have been aiming towards their goal of national dissent if they didn’t get their way. Mr. Thompson at the local NAACP has been heavily involved with BLM, and continues to hammer (converse with) the Leesburg Police and LCSO (even again this Thursday) like we are primarily the inner-city where socio-economic conditions exist for the BLM movement, not here, especially due to low population base. There are other liberal agendas and money that obviously tie into the movement, but my point is that Mr. Brown may now be used as a pawn due to his skin color and race relations may all of a sudden start to increase, well at least rhetoric and other issues from the left. My perspective, Trump wins and a few Republicans stay on or are voted on the Town Council and dissent occurs in Leesburg. Clinton victory with Burk or Butler Mayoral victory, Ron Campbell win and possibly one other vying and no dissent in Leesburg as they are satisfied in the short-term.


Let’s hope chief Brown doesn’t lead like mike chapman.  We don’t need LeesBurg police as messed up as the sheriffs office. Good luck chief Brown.  Your back ground is a lot more impressive then chapmans


I’m disheartened to see these comments about Chief Brown’s race. Who cares if he’s a black man? I had the pleasure of serving on a community leadership panel that interviewed finalists for the chief of police position. Chief Brown was head and shoulders above, in my opinion, the other candidates. His race never came into consideration. His character, leadership, professional experience, education, personality, his approach to specific issues, etc. all played a significant role, but never his race. We have the best person leading the Town of Leesburg Police and that’s Gregory Brown.


It sounds like Chief Brown is a good guy.  I sure hope he doesn’t try to emulate Chairwoman Randall.

Today, an amended civil rights complaint was filed against Chairwoman Randall for suppressing speech (a la Putin).  Over objections by Randall’s counsel, the amended complaint was granted.

Only one more step (motion to dismiss, which is just a formality at this point) before Randall will be sitting in the witness chair trying to explain why she wants to silence opposition.  Now that should be interesting from the candidate who claimed she wanted to hear “all voices” in Loudoun…


Chocolate Dinosaur, you are off the reservation!!


This seems racist, why not a Native American Chief?


Per the NAACP, Brown is not black.


i literally cant wait to hear what chocolatedinosaur has to say about this.

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