Paul Gordon Collier- Before Governor Tom Wolf took office, he selected a new PA State Police Commissioner, Col. Marcus Brown, to replace Col. Frank R. Noonon. Noonan was from Clarks Summit PA, Brown was coming off of a position as the Superintendent of the Maryland State Police.
At the time, Tom Wolf had this to say about his selection, “Colonel Marcus Brown has been in law enforcement for 25 years and has improved each law agency he has led. As the head of the Maryland State Police, he led a commitment to a diverse workforce by recruiting in areas with high minority populations and historically black colleges. As a result of his leadership, the Maryland State Police is one of the most diverse agencies in the region.”
Brown is the current acting commissioner until he gets confirmed in the PA Senate. That confirmation faces a new challenge, not based on Brown’s law enforcement experience, but on what he wears.
Brown’s previous law enforcement experience was in California. What’s missing from Brown’s resume is any PA State Police experience or certification. Coming in from the outside, Brown’s selection is causing waves in the department that may have found expression in a Facebook group started by retired PSP Trooper, Thomas Stuckey. The Name of the Facebook page is “he didn’t earn it, he shouldn’t wear it.”
What Stuckey is referring to is the uniform that Brown now wears, one which, Stuckey claims, is only earned if you go through the PSP Academy, which Brown has not. The Facebook group has over 2400 members and counting, mostly retired PSP troopers.
Stuckey does not have an issue with Brown being the Police Commissioner, he only has a problem with Brown wearing the uniform. Stuckey explains, “You don’t see the secretary of defense putting on an army uniform. You don’t see the secretary of the navy putting on a navy uniform. Those uniforms are earned.”
The Wolf administration has answered this critique through their spokesman, Jeff Sheridan, who said,“Colonel Brown believes that he should wear the uniform in order to represent the organization because he has such tremendous respect for the men and women who every day wear that uniform and are out on the streets.”
It should be noted that two other PA State Police Commissioners, Dan Dunn and Frank Noonan, who did not go through the PSP Academy chose not to wear the uniform.
While the Stuckey group was created in response to Brown’s decision to wear the PA State uniform, the issue of Governor Wolf hiring a PA State Commissioner from outside the PA State Police ranks has riled some. Wolf’s move is seen by some within the PSP community as telegraphing an adversarial nature with the PSP right at the beginning of his 4-year term. Others applaud Wolf, believing that the PSP needs a fresh perspective to help create more diversity in the ranks.
Here are some of the comments from the Facebook page:
It takes a LOT to EARN that uniform. Most people don’t even KNOW what it takes, even BEFORE putting your life on the line. For this POLITICIAN to wear the PSP uniform MAKES ME SICK!
Were there not any PSP officers that could fill this position?
This is a joke. My husband EARNED the right to wear a Pennsylvania State Police uniform. He put in the time and is still protecting and enforcing to the bestof his ability.
You want to wear it? Earn it. Just because you are appointed doesn’t give you the right to act like you went through the paces for that honor.
That’s a disgrace!
Dan Dunn and Frank Noonan had respect for the uniform and those who DID earn it, so they did not wear it. This new poser, wannabe statie obviously has no respect for either.
I am the daughter of a retired state police men and I think this is absolutely appalling. Troopers put blood, sweat, and hard work into finishing the academy and the uniform is a symbol for that, among other things. Brown wearing this violates that symbol and is an insult to all troopers who have put in the hours. That he would have the audacity to think he deserves wearing it says a lot about him
Here is the latest from Tom Stuckey himself,
All !!! I want to thank everyone for your support and encouragement!! I have just completed calling all the Pa Senate reps. and asking them to NOT confirm Mr. Brown. I did an interview with FOX43 today that will be on at 5&6 tonight. Please call your Senators!!! Some have not heard of this. I will continue to push until Mr. Brown is removed. Grey88 / Grey Nation!!
The group has gained an additional 500+ likes in the past 24 hours and appears to be catching momentum, with an effort galvanizing around stopping the confirmation of Brown in the Republican-controlled PA State Senate.
Our region’s State Senator is Republican Joe Scarnati. If you would like to call Scarnati to either support or oppose the confirmation of Col. Marcus Brown, you can call his Harrisburg office at 717-787-7084
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