01/05/11 — Mount Olive PD's Brown awarded for valor

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Mount Olive PD's Brown awarded for valor

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on January 5, 2011 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The Mount Olive Police Department awarded Capt. Tommy Brown the Medal of Valor at the town commission board meeting Tuesday.

Brown was honored for his actions in a Wayne County undercover drug-busting operation that took place in 2009.

The police captain, a long-time officer with the department, was operating undercover to buy drugs from suspected area drug dealers when one of the men pulled a shotgun on him. The subject fired multiple times at the vehicle Brown was riding in at the time, Mount Olive Police Chief Ralph Schroeder said.

Even though there was another suspect in the car with Brown at the time, he managed to talk his way out of the situation. The captain later played a major role in apprehending the subjects and was instrumental in bringing about the arrests, showing great professionalism and "a lot of good sense," Schroeder said.

"I think (Capt.) Tommy (Brown) was more calm than I was, when he told me what happened," he said, recalling the night of the incident. "That's the kind of case you never want to be called about, one of your officers being shot at."

And that was just one of the many cases Brown worked during his years as an undercover investigator. That particular case was turned over to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and the suspects charged with armed robbery and selling cocaine and marijuana, Schroeder said.

Brown met and dated his wife while working as an undercover officer. Sometimes he would have to call and tell her he was going out of town for work, but she was always accepting of it, Brown said. He chose to retire from the field of undercover work after having a family.

"I just felt like it was time. She put up with it long enough," he said.

Mount Olive officials praised Brown and the police department for their dedication and hard work. Brown is an asset to the community, Mayor Ray McDonald Sr. said.

"We do appreciate what you have done," he said.

Citizens don't always understand what law enforcement officials go through to keep them safe, Mayor Pro Tempore Kenny Talton said.

"I think a lot of people don't realize what you guys go through day in and day out," he said. "We appreciate what you do."