A Detroit police veteran will be leaving the force, but her legacy will remain.
Gayle Johnson-Brown joined the Detroit Police Department in 1977 as an African American female police officer, and fought hard for equal rights throughout her 44 years serving the community.
“It’s been wonderful. That’s why I’ve been here 44 years. I love my job. I love the people. I love serving the public,” Johnson-Brown said.
Detroit police Detective Viera Brownlee, Johnson-Brown’s daughter, testified to the importance of her mother’s career.
“I’m my mother’s legacy. It’s women like her and some of the other women back in the ’70s that fought really hard to make sure that we got equal rights and because of her she paved the way,” she told Click On Detroit.
Johnson-Brown has had an eventful career. She especially remembers one case of a child-kidnapping, where a 15-year-old girl kidnapped a baby and went on the run.
“One case I had was a little 15-year-old girl kidnapped a baby. She met a lady, the lady had an infant child, she took the baby while the lady was away. She hitchhiked to Texas. The FBI was involved. Oh, it was something,” Johnson-Brown said.
She also filed a discrimination lawsuit against the DPD and won. “We had that lawsuit and they awarded me two years, when I applied for the job and they didn’t hire me until I hunted them down and had them find my files,” Johnson-Brown said.
As she looked back on her career, she offered her advice to those entering the profession.
“My advice for the new officers is to listen to their supervisors, learn from the senior officers, be safe, most of all, be careful and look after the citizens of Detroit and do the right thing. Do your job,” she said.