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