The renown officer Brown
Community officer chosen as grand marshal of parade
Vernon Brown doesn't think his contribution to De Soto sets him apart from others in the community.
The difference, Brown said, is his job with the Johnson County Sheriff's Department.
"I'm just fortunate to have the job I do that allows me to be involved with so many things in the community and work with kids," he said. "A lot of people would like to do that; I'm just lucky to have the job I have that allows me to do that."
Last Wednesday Brown parade organizers informed him of his selection as this year's grand marshal of the De Soto Watermelon Festival Parade. In making the selection, the parade committee respectfully disagreed with Brown's modest assessment of his community contribution, said parade chairman Pat Atchison.
"He's involved in pretty much everything," she said. "He's always available.
"He's such a good role model for younger people. We thought it would be good to name someone they could identify with."
Brown learned of his selection in a short Miller Park ceremony.
"I was totally surprised," Brown said. "I actually thought I was going down to the park to discuss security issues with Pat. I think everyone down there knew about it."
A small-town boy who grew up in Tonganoxie, Brown and his wife, Chris, live in De Soto with their two children.
Brown has been with the sheriff's department for 12 years. He started in the county jail, moved to patrol and has been assigned to De Soto with the department's community police unit for the past four years.
It is a job that Brown finds very satisfying.
"When you're on patrol, you're mostly writing tickets, arresting people, out looking for DUIs or responding to disruptive behavior," he said. "When you deal with people in those circumstances, there's not much satisfaction. You can arrest someone, but the underlying problem remains.
"The job I have now I can actually help find a solution to problems."