In this week’s #NewBusinessMindset discussion, former DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown talks to us about finding joy in what you do, and through the stories he shares, through his philosophy, and through the energy he brings to this conversation, he shows us how he has done this in his own life. You will not only learn valuable lessons from this dialog, but it will bring you joy!
Lessons from the Show
Thomas talked to us about his life before, during and after serving as DeKalb County Sheriff and offered us many wonderful lessons that point us towards an authentic, happy and fulfilling life and career including:
- The importance of mentoring – and his own experience of being taken under the wing of a mentor to learn the craft of policing;
- Stay grounded and humble: everyone is replaceable, even you. It’s important to treat everyone with respect and dignity;
- How to look for and find joy in what you do.
About Thomas Brown
Sheriff Brown retired from public service as the 48th sheriff in the history of DeKalb County. His public service career began in 1972 as a firefighter for the city of Atlanta. In successive years, he served in various positions of leadership, advancing to deputy fire chief of operations at Atlanta’s Hartsfield International Airport. In 1985, at age 31, he was chosen as the fifth fire chief in the history of DeKalb County, making him at the time the youngest fire chief of a major county or city in the nation. After holding that position for four years, DeKalb CEO Manuel Maloof appointed Thomas Brown as the county’s public safety director, placing him in charge of all public safety functions of a growing DeKalb County. His responsibilities included management of the county’s Police, Fire, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and Animal Control departments; the 911 Communications Center, and Emergency Management. While public safety director, Thomas Brown introduced the concept of Community-Oriented Policing Services (COPS) in the Police Department (1992), achieved the department’s national accreditation with
the Commission of Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), and established fire safety programs taught in the school system through the Public Safety Community Relations Unit. That program resulted in large drops in fire-related deaths in homes. He also spearheaded many capital improvements, such as renovation of the Public Safety Building at no expense to the taxpayer.
As sheriff of DeKalb County, Thomas was responsible for the operation of the county jail, serving of all criminal and civil warrants, and security of the county’s courthouse. The sheriff operates DeKalb County’s major Fugitive Squad Unit, which is charged with locating and arresting fugitives from justice. Under Sheriff Brown’s leadership, the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office earned and maintained accreditations from the nation’s three leading law enforcement accreditation commissions; the agency was awarded the National Sheriffs’ Association Triple Crown Award, thus being positioned among the most elite agencies in the nation; only 37 of more than 3,000 Sheriff’s Offices nationwide have achieved this honor. Sheriff Brown’s commitment to his community is exemplified through many years of service on various boards and committees and through his dedication to worthy causes. He is often recruited to bring his life’s wisdom to youth in DeKalb County’s classrooms.
Thomas Brown chaired the Public Safety Subcommittee of DeKalb County Chief Burrell Ellis’ 2008 Transition Team. He was appointed to head a task force of investigators to determine the facts of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office handling of the March 11, 2005, incident in which an inmate escaped from the Fulton County Courthouse and allegedly killed four people before being recaptured. Annually, he sponsors a golf outing from which several community organizations have benefited. He has donated generously to Youth Leadership DeKalb, the Scottdale Community Child Development and Family Resource; Our House, which provides services to children of homeless families; the Boys and Girls Club of East DeKalb; Nicholas House; the DeKalb Rape Crisis Center; and DeKalb Women’s Resource Center.
Most recently Thomas Brown has founded 1st Action Bail Bonding in McDonough, Georgia, starting a new chapter in his life as an entrepreneur. He has two adult children, Brittany and Justin.
You can contact Thomas by email at email@example.com and you can find out more about his businesses at LINKS.
This is episode # 174