California State University, Long Beach
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Officer Brown Named Month’s Top Employee

Published: April 15, 2013

Christopher Brown, a police officer in CSULB’s University Police, was recently named by his coworkers as Employee of the Month and was recognized in a special ceremony held on Friendship Walk near the University Union which was renamed Christopher Brown Lane for the month.

“I feel very humbled to be chosen by my peers as employee of the month,” said Brown, who began his career with the University Police in 2008. “It is inspiring to be recognized by your colleagues.”

CSULB President F. King Alexander praised Brown for his hard work and consistent efforts to improve campus safety as well as his assistance with improving the department’s internal productivity. “Chris Brown always goes above and beyond the call of duty,” he said. “His professionalism demonstrates his ability to care and be service-oriented. The smile on his face and his friendly manner show just how much he really loves his job and our campus.”

As a member of the University Police, Brown’s responsibilities include the day-to-day operations of the university such as service calls and medical aid.

“I chose CSULB PD after researching various campus police departments and discovering that CSULB had the reputation as a progressive department that was looking to grow rather than just exist,” he said. “It was the right place at the right time. CSULB has been a good fit for me.”

Brown feels there are special challenges to working in a campus environment. “I once heard a joke between officers that the funny thing about working at a university is that, while the police keep getting older, the bad guys stay the same age,” he laughed. “Working at a university police department offers the unique opportunity to reach people at a very critical juncture in their lives. A university campus is somewhere you can still reach out and make a difference without having to go through all the layers of bad habits and bad families.”

But with challenges come benefits. “One of the reasons I’m glad I chose CSULB is that everyone knows who I am,” he said. “They know where I work. It feels like a family. I have worked for the Irvine Police Department and the Laguna Beach Police Department as a civilian and that is where I learned I preferred smaller agencies. They are more my style. There is a family feeling at CSULB. I feel a greater appreciation for what I bring to campus.”

Brown has discovered there are opportunities to change lives at CSULB. “This is the kind of job where you can be someone’s best friend one minute and their worst enemy the next,” he said. “Simply put, when most people meet a police officer, it is for one of two reasons. Either something bad has happened to that person or that person has done something bad. What we do well here is bridge that gap. The university community doesn’t only see its police when something bad has happened. Plus, the University Police get out into the community. People can meet us not just because something bad has happened.”

Chris Brown Named Month's Top Employee
PHOTO BY DAVID J. NELSON
At the Employee of the Month presentation were (l-r) CSULB Capt. Scott Brown, Chris Brown and CSULB Police Chief Fernando Solorzano.

Brown currently pursues a bachelor of arts degree in history and hopes to graduate next spring. When he isn’t protecting CSULB, he enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as attending campus events.

Law enforcement wasn’t Brown’s first career goal. “After serving in the Air Force Reserve for 10 years, a friend suggested the FBI as a place for a career where there was camaraderie and teamwork the way I’d known it in the military,” he said. “In order to be an FBI Special Agent, three years of law enforcement experience are required. But the more time I spent doing the job, the less I wanted to leave the job. It is the kind of job that grows on you.”

Brown found a supportive environment working for the University Police. “It is like working in a tightly knit family,” he explained. “It is nice to be a part of a department where you are recognized without being categorized.”

One of the things Brown enjoys best about CSULB is that, while other departments seem to get jaded by responding to the same calls day after day, that’s never been true for him.

“I’ve never felt jaded,” he said. “Working for University Police gives me a sense of achievement. The University Police have the same goal as the rest of the campus—to see students graduate in a peaceful environment. With that goal in mind, we are all working for the same thing.”

Brown received several gifts including a CSULB sweatshirt, a gift certificate for a Tommy’s combo, a $25 gift card for the California Pizza Kitchen, a $10 Target gift card and one free Whopper from Burger King.

–Richard Manly