Reggie Brown is having a hard time winning police department friends

Reggie Brown is acting as police chief until a permanent chief can be named, that appointment has rekindled old wounds among police officers, some of whom who won’t be happy campers if Brown is named the permanent police chief.

When Eugene Ellis was named chief, the appointment was hailed by the police union and rank and file officers as a wise move. For two years, the police were happy with Ellis, who they described as firm but fair.

However, when Ellis recently announced his retirement from the department, the mayor appointed corporal Reggie Brown as the interim chief.

The peace and tranquility among the boys and girls in blue went to pieces because once again, it seemed that the mayor planned to bypass veteran officers with more leadership experience and rank to select a political favorite.

The officers seemed worried that unlike Ellis, Brown has little or no experience commanding men in police actions. One officer says, “Brown never had to command a situation in which men may be required to put their lives on the line; he’s unproven.” Ellis commanded several units in the course of his nearly four decades on the force; the police said Ellis had their respect.

They describe Brown as a desk leader or paper pusher with little or no leadership they can respect. They point out that there are several majors on the force well suited to serve as interim. One of the better choices also included a black female officer who is highly respected.

So, there is a quiet protest underway. Officers are seeking Brown’s Internal Affairs records to show his record. The city is resisting. While that is being processed, there are other requests for the Internal Affairs records of other officers making the whole situation sticky.

It’s all getting ugly as it appears that Brown, a confidant of the mayor, will have a hard row to hoe if he is named police chief. His interim appointment is already “disturbing the peace.”

It appears that it has little to do with race because Ellis was black; the officers just don’t like Brown.

They also don’t like to watch corporals become chief of police and jump the pecking order.

The reality is that the Monroe Police Chief is a political appointment. If a candidate passes the chief’s exam and is eligible, the mayor can appoint whomever he pleases for whatever reason he pleases.

If the officers don’t like it, they will have to suck it up.

In an election year, that’s a tough decision for the mayor to make.

If he mishandles the appointment of the next chief, it could result in no-confidence votes that won’t look good when election day arrives.