Police chiefs from as far way as Palm Springs, Hemet and San Jacinto City officials, state and county elected officials’ representatives joined with 200 other guests to honor Hemet Police Chief David M. Brown Thursday, Dec. 14, at his retirement party at the El Patron Mexican Restaurant.
Brown announced his plans to retire from the Hemet Police force after 25 years of service, July 26, to seek the Riverside County sheriff’s post in 2018. His official retirement begins Friday, Dec. 22, and his deputy chief, Rob Webb, will take over the growing city police department.
The El Patron Restaurant meeting room was filled with grateful residents, friends, fellow police officers, city, county and state officials who presented him with handshakes and hugs, remembering how he has guided the police department through both hard times and good times in his 25 years.
Banners hung from the ceilings that said, “Chief Dave Brown Congratulations on Your Retirement. Good Luck on Your New Adventure.” He received plaques, photos, certificates of honor, trophies, helmets, special gifts, a proclamation from California Gov. Jerry Brown and even a new Hemet Street sign entitled “Brown’s Town,” a Hemet San Jacinto Valley tradition for honored outgoing city officials.
Brown, occasionally choking back tears, spoke and thanked the community, his city police officers and members of law enforcement for supporting him during his years as a police officer and chief of police.
“I will miss this uniform, and I will miss the people in this room,” Brown said and asked all current and former members and volunteers of the Hemet Police Department to stand to thank them. “I will truly miss being an active member of the law enforcement community, but I will always consider myself to be a member of this family. I am fortunate to have served alongside so many brave and selfless servants for so many years. Thank you all.”
Before the ceremonies began members of the department and the community presented Brown’s wife, Carol, his daughter Angela, son Michael, his father and mother and other members of the Brown family with bouquets of flowers and gifts at the head table.
The chief especially thanked his family for embracing and standing with him in his career in the Hemet Police Department.
Brown, 51, said he was now looking forward to a “new adventure” in his run for sheriff.
“I am turning the page, starting a new chapter. I have decided to run for Riverside County sheriff in 2018. But I want this community to know what’s motived me to do is the condition of our community and our county, and I intend to go forward and bring the rest of what I have brought to this department to the sheriff’s department for the betterment of the entire county,” Brown said.
During the retirement party, Brown was given endorsements for his run for sheriff by the Hemet Police Officers Association, the Soboba Indian Tribal Council, the Hemet Fire Department, members of the city council and others.