On Tuesday, Leesburg Town Manager Kaj Dentler announced the new chief and deputy chief of the Town of Leesburg’s police department.
Gregory Brown, currently a captain with the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) and Commander of its Eastern Loudoun Station, has been named the Town’s new Chief of Police. Vanessa Grigsby, currently a captain with Leesburg’s police, has been promoted to Deputy Chief of Police and her rank will be major. Brown will begin his duties Oct. 3, and Grigsby’s promotion is effective Aug. 1.
Brown has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 1997, serving as a patrol deputy, school resource officer, criminal investigator, and as an undercover officer in vice, narcotics and gangs. He later served as a supervisor in each of these units as well as a member of the Emergency Response Team (SWAT) and Honor Guard. Brown has also served as Deputy Director overseeing basic law enforcement training at the Northern Virginia Criminal Justice Academy. He was an officer with the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority Police Department before joining the LCSO.
“I am both honored and humbled to have been chosen as the Town of Leesburg’s next chief of police,” Brown said in a press release published by the town. “I look forward to serving and partnering with the community beside the men and women of the Leesburg Police Department in order to further solidify a culture of trust and legitimacy with the citizens, visitors and businesses of our town.”
The town retained the professional services of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) to manage the search process, which included the involvement of individual stakeholders and the community to develop a position profile. More than 80 candidates applied, and finalists were interviewed by the Town Council and participated in a community forum. Dentler, the town manager, then met with each of them before deciding on Brown.
“Mr. Brown distinguished himself throughout the process as the best candidate for the position of police chief,” Dentler said. “His professional integrity and approach to community policing in the 21st century along with his broad experience with the County of Loudoun Sheriff’s Office were important factors in the selection process. I look forward to working with Mr. Brown in the police department’s mission to serve and protect the community.”
Reached by the Tribune today, Loudoun County NAACP president Phillip Thompson said he was involved in the citizen interview phase for the new chief, and is “extremely happy to see Captain Brown selected for that position.”
“Both [finalist] candidates were impressive and Leesburg could not have gone wrong either way, but Captain Brown with his experience in Loudoun and his temperament, command presence and experience was probably the best selection,” he added. “I believe a lot of the credit for this hiring has to go to the Leesburg Town Manager who has worked hard since I brought the minority hiring issue up in 2013, even before I become president of the NAACP, to seek out a more diverse hiring pool,” Thompson continued. “The hiring of Captain Brown sends a strong message that finding qualified minorities in Loudoun County is not as hard as some in other parts of the local governments would lead you to believe.”
Brown holds a master’s degree in Justice Administration from the University of Louisville and a bachelor’s degree from Ramapo College of New Jersey. He is a graduate of University of Louisville’s Southern Police Institute’s Administrative Officers Course where he obtained a Graduate Certificate in Police Executive Leadership. He recently completed the Mentoring Potential Chief Executive Officers Program, a comprehensive two-year program co-sponsored by Cedarville University and the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. Brown is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), and Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity Inc.
Grigsby has been with the Leesburg Police Department since 1996 and has been its acting chief since the retirement of former chief Joe Price in March. She was promoted to Division Commander of Administration and Support Services in 2014, and previously served as commander of the Criminal Investigations Section, patrol district commander, patrol sergeant, school resource officer, detective and patrol officer.
“Captain Grigsby has done an outstanding job serving as the Interim Police Chief,” said Dentler. “Her experience and leadership have prepared her for this important role within the police department that will support the new chief.”
Grigsby holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, VA. Prior to her career in law enforcement, Grigsby served in the U.S. Army as an administrative specialist and intelligence analyst.