We remember Glendale cop Matt Brown as one of the better public information officers. Brown always was straight-forward and responsive, and had a sense of humor. Even when was in a hurry, all you had to do was mention Ohio State football and he'd suddenly find all the time in the world to chat.
Matt dropped a copy of his new self-published memoir, Hats And Ties: Police Stories From Glendale, Arizona, And Other Excerpts From My Life (the cover of the book's pictured) by New Times' offices recently and we just got a chance to spend some time with it.
It's a hoot!
Brown's a fine storyteller, and he has some great material with which to work.
He tells of one off-duty incident in central Phoenix back in the late 1980s, when he stopped for a red light: "I looked over at the bus stop and saw a gang-banging-looking turd smacking a young Down Syndrome boy in the face...This gang-bang-looking piece of shit was being cheered on by other gang-bang-looking pieces of shit." Brown writes that he put his emergency flashers on, jumped out of his car and "punched the turd in the back of his head and then for good measure kicked him in the nuts."
Brown says he wouldn't have changed anything about the clash except that he would let the Down Syndrome kid punch the assailant a few times.
Naturally, we were interested in what Officer Brown had to say about our brethren in the media. Without naming names, he slices up a current well-known television anchor who "comes across [on television] as nice and sweet and kind, but in person, my experiences with her have all been negative." (Come on, Matt, give it up!)
In great detail, the veteran cop recalls how a bird once crapped all over the self-absorbed woman during a stand-up -- a "gift from God," Brown calls it, though unfortunately it wasn't a live shot.
Brown does single out a handful of local TV reporters for praise, including Channel 3's Mike Watkiss. He also gives kudos to recently departed Arizona Republic reporter Brent Whiting as "a very honorable man, and a great newspaper reporter."
As for our rag, the cop-turned-scribe writes: "The Phoenix New Times newspaper often takes a beating for some of their stories. When reporters from this paper would call me to ask about certain topics, I thought they were very fair and honest. New Times reporter Paul Ruben wrote several stories about Glendale police when I was PIO. Even though some of the stories were critical, Paul was always honest and professional."
Thanks, Matt. We'll be sure to pass along the kind words to Mr. Ruben.-- Paul Rubin
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