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‘I love my job’: Detroit police officer retires after 44 years

Gayle Johnson-Brown’s career started in 1977

Detroit officer retires after 44 years on the job
Detroit officer retires after 44 years on the job

DETROIT – A police officer with more than four decades of experience with the Detroit Police Department will soon be retiring.

Gayle Johnson-Brown’s career started on July 18, 1977. She said a lot has changed since then.

“I remember when I used to type on a typewriter, now they got computers. You know, I used to plug in the phone on the phone boards. 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.

She said she worked many cases over the years but there is one that stands out the most.

“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.

“I’m my mother’s legacy,” Detroit police Detective Viera Brownlee said.

Brownlee said that’s an honor in itself.

“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,” Brownlee said.

Her mother filed a discrimination lawsuit against the Detroit Police Department 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.

Although Johnson-Brown’s time as an investigator is coming to an end she does have advice for those behind her.

“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.

Investigator Gayle Johnson-Brown was honored by the Detroit Police Department for her 44 years of service to the department and community. (WDIV)

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