New Butler chief vows to make fighting drugs top priority
By Rick Wills
Published: Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, 5:02 p.m.
Butler's new police chief says drugs are the city's biggest problem, echoing the opinion of the new mayor who appointed him.
“There has always been a drug problem, but it is getting worse,” said Ronald Brown, a 24-year veteran of the Butler Police Department, who was named chief last week.
Mayor Tom Donaldson, who worked as a police officer or chief in the Butler County communities of Jackson, Franklin and Eau Claire, campaigned on increasing efforts to curb illegal drugs in the city.
He surprised many by naming Brown police chief four days after he took office. Donaldson said he didn't know Brown personally, but was impressed by his record.
“He's a go-getter. I looked at statistics, the number of arrests he made. He is a very hard worker. I have got nothing but good remarks about him,” Donaldson said.
Donaldson formed his plans for Butler and the police department when he knocked on 2,000 doors during the campaign, he said.
“Illegal drugs are what people talked about more than any other problem. It frustrates them. Drug use causes all kinds of other crimes,” he said.
Brown, 51, replaces Ronald Fierst, who has been chief for nearly two years and has worked at the department for 35 years.
Fierst will continue working at the rank of captain. He could not be reached for comment.
“I have nothing but the highest respect for him,” Donaldson said. “It was time for a change, though.“
Brown will earn $80,811 as chief. As a lieutenant, he earned a base salary of $62,000 plus overtime and extra pay for working certain shifts.
Donaldson said neighborhood crime watches and community policing can make his city safer.
Brown will oversee 22 officers. “I was not looking to be chief. It was offered the job, and I accepted. I am real happy with it,” Brown said.
A native of the city, Brown, whose father was a mill worker at Pullman Standard, graduated from Butler Area High School in 1980. He joined the police department several years after working other jobs.
“I love my job. I like to help people. I enjoy being around people,” he said.
The father of two children in middle school, Brown enjoys the outdoors, hunting, fishing and camping. He said camping trips with his family help ease the stress of police work.
“I like the outdoors. It's so peaceful. It's nice,” he said.
Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7944 or at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- STEM Fems group branches out to Evans City Middle School
- Conflict of interest questions arise on Mars Area drilling vote
- Fire leaves ‘scary unknown’ for Butler Township mental health center
- Mars Area residents plead with board: Don’t OK drilling
- Man dies in overnight Butler house fire