Wow. Maybe Hemet Dave is not a strong enough moniker for this guy:
Let’s talk about Dave Brown as Hemet’s police chief and the possible next County Sheriff. Fellow officers reported that when Brown was a patrol officer he was often found parked behind buildings working on a laptop trying to come up with community programs and acronyms for them and neglecting his patrol area. He was so desperate to be made chief that he felt by pushing these programs, it would be his ticket to chiefdom. He went so far as to offer to forego his benefits.
It was Brown’s idea to park a patrol car on a busy street corner where there was significant crime. He felt the visual of the unit would discourage criminals. This became a HUGE embarrassment when he ‘forgot’ about the unit that was left unattended or moved for days.
Brown was also the brainchild for the ROCS program (Reviving Our Community) where the city took an old swat truck and painted it up with well…in most opinions..like an huge ice cream truck. The ROC-mobile sat unused most of the time since no one in the department was licensed to drive the unit.
Brown then buddied up to a knucklehead named Larry George who proclaimed himself to be a news source for the city. Brown gave George permission to follow first responder units to scenes and report the incidents. Shortly after this bromance started, George and his crew were reprimanded for creating dangerous situations when following fire trucks, police units and ambulances. One of Georges staff reportedly filed a lawsuit against HPD when he was ‘roughed up’ by an officer when the reporter was in the way during an auto accident investigation.
Brown’s biggest blunder was his campaign called “Taking the fear out of crime”. When crime was at an all time high in Hemet, Brown, via newspapers and town hall meetings encouraged citizens to go into town day or night to shop, eat, socialize in order to keep money in the city. That his crew were out on the streets and the citizens shouldn’t let crime control their activities. A year later Brown had to admit to all that the ‘crime was bigger than his department’.
His recommendations to citizens were irresponsible, and egotistically driven. He put citizens at risk in very dangerous times. Brown’s speeches always included how he grew up in Hemet and he was committed to serving the city. Now he’s retied and running for Riverside County high Sheriff position. Brown has not had any policing experience outside of the small city of Hemet. He has no experience with courts and county jail demands. Furthermore, there is little to no doubt that corruption in his department DOES exist.
Given that there is a story that got limited press coverage with the sordid details of a lawsuit against the City of Hemet over racism and police abuse, there are definitely a slew of issues beneath the surface.