Police Chief Retires

NEWTON, NC (Nov. 30, 2018)—Newton celebrated Police Chief Don Brown during a retirement reception at First Presbyterian Church on Nov. 29.
Newton Police Chief Don Brown
Brown is a 1984 graduate of St. Stephens High School in Hickory. He was hired as a Newton police officer in July 1988. He rose through the ranks of the Newton Police Department while earning an associate degree in criminal justice from Catawba Valley Community College and a bachelor’s degree from Gardner-Webb University. He is a graduate of the 230th session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy. He has been Newton’s police chief since 2008.

Brown’s retirement from the Newton Police Department comes following his recent election to the office of sheriff of Catawba County.

Brown’s retirement reception began with an invocation by the Rev. Fred Thompson. Speakers included Mayor Anne P. Stedman, Newton City Council members, City Manager Todd Clark, Chair Randy Isenhower of the Catawba County Board of Commissioners, Chief Tracy Ledford of the Maiden Police Department, Chief Thurman Whisnant of the Hickory Police Department, Special Agent in Charge Chris Laws of the Northwestern District of the State Bureau of Investigation, and current and former members of the Newton Police Department.

Former Hickory Police Chief Tom Adkins presented Brown with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine on behalf of Gov. Roy Cooper. The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is among the most prestigious awards presented by the governor of North Carolina. It is awarded for exemplary service to the State of North Carolina and the community that is above and beyond the call of duty. The award is granted to citizens who stand out in their communities, who have devoted their lives to serving others, and whose efforts have made a significant impact and strengthened North Carolina.

Stedman praised Brown for building relationships with members of the Newton community and fostering an atmosphere of excellence and integrity within the Newton Police Department.

“I hate to see you leave, but I’m glad you’re still going to be serving the citizens of Catawba County,” Stedman said. “For that, we’re all lucky.”

As Brown reflected on his time at the Newton Police Department, he said he had much to be thankful for, including members of the Newton Police Department, members of Newton city management, elected officials, fellow law enforcement officers, and most especially his family.

“To the citizens of Newton, thank you for giving me the opportunity to serve,” he said. “It was a team effort. We worked together, and I think Newton is a great place to be.”

Newton Police Maj. Tim Hayes will serve as interim chief of the Newton Police Department while applicants are assessed for the position of chief of police. Hayes has been with the Newton Police Department since 1993 and was promoted to major in 2013. He will assume the responsibilities of interim chief beginning at 5 p.m. Dec. 2.

The city of Newton thanks Don Brown for his years of service and wishes him much success as Catawba County’s next sheriff.