Brown replaces Helmick as head of California Highway Patrol

| 9/16/2004

Michael Brown has been named to replace Dwight “Spike” Helmick as head of the California Highway Patrol.

A patrol spokesman confirmed that Helmick’s resignation took effect the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 15. Although Helmick himself was mum on his reasons for retirement, some observers in the state thought his leaving was the result of conflicts with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s administration.

The patrol spokesman said Brown, who previously served as chief for the Southern division of the Highway Patrol, was already acting as head of the patrol. Brown’s former post included supervision of the Los Angeles region.

“Mike is a highly respected law enforcement officer with the vision to lead one of the most prestigious law enforcement organizations in the world,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a release. “He is a person of great integrity and I am confident that he will provide excellent leadership and direction to the California Highway Patrol.”

A 27-year veteran of the Patrol, Brown has served as commander of the San Diego area and as commander of the Office of Special Representative, where he coordinated the patrol’s legislative activities. That office has headed a number of Helmick’s trucking-related initiatives, including the effort to require truck-stopping devices on all tractor-trailers carrying hazardous materials in the state.

Brown has also headed a number of homeland security initiatives for the state, coordinating operations with Los Angeles-area law-enforcement agencies.

– by Mark H. Reddig, associate editor