State police nominee: ‘relentlessly positive’ despite attacks

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Governor Tom Wolf’s nominee for state police commissioner says he’s still “relentlessly positive” about his job despite recent personal attacks on him.

Marcus Brown, in an op-ed released Wednesday, said he has been tested in ways he never imagined.

Retired troopers have criticized the ex-Maryland state police superintendent for wearing a Pennsylvania State Police uniform even though he did not attend the State Police Academy.

Top Republican senators and the union that represents state troopers asked Wolf to recall Brown’s nomination after he was caught removing two roadside signs critical of him from his Hampden Township neighborhood.

And most recently, state police said a racist letter was found in Brown’s home mailbox Monday night. The note, apparently hand-delivered, said: “No (racial epithet) lover will wear my uniform.”

The following is Brown’s op-ed:

Throughout my nearly 25 year career in law enforcement, I have tried to live by a mantra: be relentlessly positive.

Over the past few weeks, this has been tested in ways I never imagined. My family has been surveilled and harassed, and I have been personally attacked. Some of this comes with the territory; some of it is simply unacceptable. While I have made mistakes during this process, I have done so with the best interests of my family in mind.

However, I remain relentlessly positive about my job leading the Pennsylvania State Police, an organization I have always respected and admired, even when I was just a kid growing up in Central Pennsylvania and a student at Penn State.

My appointment to lead the Pennsylvania State Police has been the greatest honor of my career. The men and women of the Pennsylvania State Police serve the people of our commonwealth with honor and distinction, and it has been my unique privilege to serve with them over the past few months. So many of them have been welcoming and made me feel a part of their family.

My experience may be outside Pennsylvania but the law enforcement family extends across jurisdictions and state lines. My perspective and experience can still help the State Police grow and improve as an organization and I want to work with veteran PSP officials and the rank-and-file to ensure any changes still reflect the spirit and reputation of this great institution.

I started my career in law enforcement as a beat cop. I patrolled the streets of San Jose and West Baltimore. There, I saw first-hand how important good, involved and accountable policing can be to a community.

In Baltimore, I had the great fortune to rise through the ranks from Sergeant to Lieutenant and commander of SWAT to Major and being asked to oversee Special Operations Section and the Organized Crime Division.

In my final years in Baltimore, I oversaw the Internal Affairs Division as Chief and then became Deputy Commissioner for Operations. In the latter role, I was responsible for administrating a $226 million budget and ensuring the safety of over 3,000 officers. I was proud to work with the department and community to create and implement a crime reduction strategy that resulted in Baltimore’s lowest crime rates in over 30 years.

After leaving Baltimore, I served as Chief of the statewide Maryland Transportation Authority Police for four years before being asked to serve as Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.

In my time with the Maryland State Police, we accomplished great things. I am proud of our efforts to reduce crime, improve homeland security, reduce domestic violence, prioritize diversity and increase support for veterans.

We recorded 40-year lows in homicides and both violent and property crime; and 50 year lows in fatal and non-fatal traffic accidents. Our Fusion Center became a national model for homeland security.
Diversity within the academy classes increased with both African Americans and women. We oversaw a 25 percent statewide reduction in crime against women and children.

The culmination of these experiences have provided me with a deep understanding of how to command a large force and run a massive organization. Further, I have a rich appreciation for the men and women in law enforcement across the country that put their lives on the line for each of us to feel secure and keep safe.

While every person may not agree with every decision that I have made or will make, I want every Pennsylvanian to know I approach this job with the highest levels of respect and admiration for the Pennsylvania State Police.

I am proud of what I have accomplished in my career. I am proud to be a Pennsylvanian. And I would be incredibly proud to lead the State Police well into the future.

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