Brawley Council honors retiring police chief and introduces interim

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BRAWLEY – The Brawley City Council commended retiring Police Chief Michael Crankshaw Tuesday for the work he has done to improve and enhance the department he has overseen since his appointment in December 2013, according to a press release from the city.

At the same time, Brawley Police Commander Kelly Brown was introduced as the department’s new interim police chief, effective May 23. Sergeant Jonathan Blackstone will serve as interim commander alongside Commander Brett Houser, while Agent Adam Green will serve as interim sergeant.

Although Crankshaw officially retired Nov. 30, 2016, after a 30-year law enforcement career, he had agreed to serve in an interim capacity while the city recruited for a replacement. He will formally end his law enforcement career May 31, 2017.

During his tenure with Brawley, Crankshaw has overseen a number of major projects to enhance the department, said the press release.

Those projects include modernization of evidence handling and records storage; completion of various community-oriented policing projects; a ballistic vest upgrade and replacement; numerous space planning and in-house improvement projects; weapons and equipment upgrade and replacement; ADA upgrades for improved public access at the police department; and fleet replacement and expansion

City Manager Rosanna Bayon Moore lauded Crankshaw for his stellar financial management of department resources, in particular special funds, the press release stated.

The release also said that Crankshaw said the achievement he is most proud of is “our staff.”

“I can’t think of another profession that has the immediate communal impact as ours,” Crankshaw wrote in a message to police department staff last week. “The high caliber of Brawley Police Department personnel who currently serve this great community can certainly stand proud of the job they do.”

Crankshaw added, “Stay safe, stay committed and stay together (work family) – you are an important piece of the community.”

Mayor Sam Couchman said under Crankshaw’s leadership the police department has become very actively engaged with the community. According to the press release he said:

“I get compliments about our police from the community and the schools all the time,” Couchman said. “The way the department works is an indication of great leadership. We wish Chief Crankshaw well as he moves forward with his next chapter.”

Brown will take over as interim police chief on May 23. As stated in the press release, Brown has served as a peace officer with Brawley Police Department since 2002. He attended Southwestern College Police Academy and was hired as a patrol officer and promoted to the rank of police agent in 2005. He has served as a field training officer, an investigations detective, as well as the sergeant in charge of investigations. Brown has also earned an Advanced Peace Officers Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Certificate and a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He is a graduate of the Los Angeles Police Department’s leadership program.