For Immediate Release: January 16, 2017
City Manager Mark B. Jinks has announced his appointment of Michael L. Brown as Chief of Police for the City of Alexandria, effective January 23. Brown succeeds David Huchler, who has served as Acting Chief since Chief Earl L. Cook’s retirement on October 1, 2016.
The public is invited to meet Brown at a welcome reception on Tuesday, January 24, from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., in the Vola Lawson Lobby of City Hall (301 King St.).
“Chief Brown’s remarkable career has put him at the forefront of neighborhood protection, community policing, traffic safety, strategic planning, and other areas of concern here and around the country,” said Jinks. “As an Alexandria resident, Chief Brown is already familiar with local issues and will help the Alexandria Police Department continue to implement 21st-century national best practices fairly and effectively.”
Brown has nearly four decades of experience in law enforcement, safety oversight, and public policy. He rose through the ranks of the California Highway Patrol, starting as a police officer in Los Angeles in 1977 and culminating in his appointment as state commissioner from 2004 to 2008. He previously served as chief or assistant chief in various divisions. As commissioner, he led one of the largest law enforcement agencies in the United States, with approximately 7,900 sworn personnel, 3,100 civilian staff, over 100 field offices, and a budget of $1.8 billion at the time of Brown’s tenure.
From 2008 to 2009, Brown served as the Deputy Secretary for Public Safety for the State of California. In this capacity, he advised the Governor’s Office on public safety issues and helped develop the state’s strategic highway safety plan.
Since 2010, Brown has served as Director of the Office of Impaired Driving and Occupant Protection at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), where he is responsible for the development and implementation of national traffic safety policy and best practices. During his time at NHTSA, he has also served as Acting Associate Administrator for Research and Program Development and Acting Director of the Office of Emergency Medical Services and Office of Defect Investigation.
Brown is an Executive Fellow of the Police Foundation and serves on the Law Enforcement Committee of the Transportation Research Board. He has served as an instructor for nearly a dozen training programs for CHP, and as an adjunct professor for California State University, Sacramento. He has participated in many state and national task forces on such issues as police pursuits, homeland security, traffic safety, emergency planning, enforcement technology, and transportation.
Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration from California State University, Sacramento, a master’s degree in criminal justice administration from California State University, Los Angeles, and a master’s degree in management from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He is currently a candidate for a doctoral degree in criminology, law, and society at George Mason University. Brown is also a graduate of the California Peace Officers Standards and Training Command College and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy and National Executive Institute.
Brown has been honored dozens of times by his profession and the communities he has served, including recognition as the law enforcement officer of the year at various times by the California Peace Officers Association, the Los Angeles Jewish Community, and the Los Angeles Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement.
Brown has resided in Alexandria since 2010 with his wife, Kirsten Knapp, who is an Alexandria sheriff’s deputy.
“I want to thank Chief Huchler for his service as Acting Chief, and for his more than 25 years of outstanding service so far in Alexandria,” Jinks continued. “We look forward to working with him as he continues in the role of Deputy Chief. I am also grateful for the tireless dedication of the more than 400 men and women who work in sworn and civilian positions in the Alexandria Police Department to help keep our community safe every day.”