Police Officer LaDarian Brown: Protector of the Community

1. Name of Officer: LaDarian D. Brown

2. Education: Longview High School ‘11
Kilgore College Police Academy

3. Home town: Longview, Texas

4. Prior job experience if any: Gregg County Sheriff’s Office

5. How do you feel when you put on your uniform each day?

This has been a life-long dream to become a police officer. With that I am Thankful! I thank God daily that he has afforded me with such an opportunity.
I have a feeling of trust. I trust God that no matter what I may face throughout my shift I trust deep within my heart that God is going to bring me home.

6. People don’t often understand how hard police officers work to keep citizens safe, what inspired, you to become a protector of the community and can you tell us if any daily risks you’ve seen or experienced?

To answer the first part of this question: I’m a South Longview Native, for I grew up in the 800 block of Sylvan Drive. Growing up, I would attend crime watch meetings with my great-grandmother, Mrs. Clara Crayton. I could see the difference they were making as a community, and I knew I wanted to be a part of that. While in school many of my classmates would talk about how much they hated police officers. I wanted to wear the uniform, join this profession to change the way young people especially in the African American community view the police.
To answer the second part of this question: every call I go to is a risk. There are so many unknowns in this job that I couldn’t begin to tell you. I often tell people you really don’t know until you walk in a police officer’s shoes. And that’s on and off duty.

7. What is a misconception you have seen that the public have about the Police?
The biggest misconception is that all police officers do is shoot people. As a cop, that is the last thing on my mind in many cases. Most officers make a whole 20-year career and never have to use their weapon. Which I pray at the end of my career I will be able to say. I didn’t sign up for this profession to be life taker, but a protector of life.

8. As a Police officer, what do you want your legacy to be.
I know the day is coming when I will no longer wear this uniform. I know the day is coming when badge number 497 will never be seen again. It’s my dearest hope, and my noblest dream that when that day comes; in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. no one will sit around talking about the few awards that I may have won. No will speak of the number of tickets I wrote, calls I answered, or crashes I worked. That someone will say that at some point in time, I did something or said something that helped them, or someone they know. All the awards don’t matter to me, it’s the life changing moments that matter the most. “If I can help somebody as I pass along, if I can cheer somebody with a well song, if I can show somebody he’s traveling wrong, then my living will not be in vain.”

9. What was one of your toughest days on the job?
Dealing with death is challenging for anyone. As an officer I’ve had to see love ones, high school classmates, and children in that state. Those are the calls that make your days tough. Those are the calls that make me lose sleep.

10. How does your family feel about you being a police officer?
They were not pleased at first. However, they pray for me and keep me lifted. My family knows that I’ll be fine. We are Christians and firmly believe in the covering power of Jesus Christ.

11. Police officers work long hours and the work is very stressful, how do you like to relax?
Traveling, time with my family, music, and Lobo football

12. If you could go back in time and tell your younger self one thing what would it be?
Work out! You have to have a good amount of discipline towards your health in this profession.

13. In a time when pop culture encourages not co-operating with police officers, can you expand on the dangers this causes?
If we as a profession don’t want rappers to say these types of things in their songs, then we as a profession need to stop giving them ammunition. If we want the public to view us differently, then we must also change. Now please don’t misunderstand, most of us are doing what we need to do.
With that being said, I feel we as parents play a part in this as well. Parents must teach their children how to handle being stopped, being addressed by an officer. If we as parents do our jobs, then the craziness in music will be just that craziness. But, since so many have allowed music, social media, video games, and television to be the only influence in their children lives Officer involved shootings are going to increase. Assault to a peace officer charges are going to increase.

14. As a protector of the community and symbol of justice how can we as a community better support the police?
The community of Longview is very supportive of us. One thing we can say is LPD is very “lucky” to have a community like this. I can’t count the times I’m standing in line at a gas station and multiple people will say thank you for your service. Or sitting at a restaurant attempting to eat someone will say thank you. Or even sitting at a red light I’ll be told thank you. I’ve even written citations and was told thank you for what you do. Mayor Mack gave the PD a large pay raise, and this community supported that effort. This community has support for us covered very well.

15. Do policemen really like donuts?
I personally love donuts. Always have as a kid, however I refuse to eat them while in uniform!

16. Do you think the Cowboys have a shot at the Super Bowl this year and why?
How did you know I was a Cowboy fan. I always stand on the hopes of my grandfather, and my dad that we will not just go to the Super Bowl but also win it! I wouldn’t mind making a trip to Atlanta for that one!