Brown had just started new beat

Thursday, January 13, 2005 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 11:14 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

Curtis Brown, the Columbia police officer who was shot in the right bicep on Worley Avenue Tuesday morning, was released from University Hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

He picked up his house key at the department and left, Columbia police Capt. Sam Hargadine said.

Brown, the east-side patrol officer who staked out the Park De Ville home, was shot Tuesday morning by suspect Richard T. Evans, 23, of Columbia who was wanted by the police in the shooting of Officer Molly Bowden, 26, of Columbia. Bowden had made a routine traffic stop when Evans shot her.

After spotting Evans, Brown chased the suspect to the back yard of 3111 W. Worley St. Evans fired at Brown, hitting the officer before turning the gun on himself.

Brown had been working on a new beat and shift for only 10 days. Sgt. Ken Hammond said officers can change their beat assignments at the first of the year. Brown’s new beat, which was on Columbia’s east side, was paired with a new shift from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. He previously worked on Columbia’s west side from 3 to 11 p.m.

Brown, 36, of Columbia is not married. He has been working in law enforcement since 1997. Brown began in corrections at the Boone County Sheriff’s Department. As a detentions officer, Brown worked in the jail. He performed a variety of tasks relating to policing inmates. In 1999, he moved to the department’s enforcement division.

Warren Brewer, jail administrator at the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, was Brown’s supervisor when Brown worked at the sheriff’s department.

“He is a very personable individual,” Brewer said. “He always has a good attitude. One of his high points is his ability to talk to somebody to get them to do what they needed to do.”

Brewer said Brown was a good officer who learned his new job quickly. He said Brown’s grin helped make him effective.

“He’s not very tall, but he’s very muscular,” Brewer said. “So, he looked like he’d be a hell of a bulldog in a fight. But he always had this little grin. He used verbal judo tactics quite effectively. He’d always say, ‘I understand that, sir, but I need you to put your hands behind your back.’ Generally, he could always get them to do it.”

Brewer said Brown rarely had to lay hands on inmates, including uncooperative ones.

“He wasn’t threatening,” Brewer said. “He had good voice control, a real steady voice.”

Brown told the sheriff’s department in 2000 that he was leaving to take a job at the Columbia Police Department. He cited the city department’s better benefits as his reason for leaving, Brewer said.

The jail administrator said Brown told him he would have liked to stay with the county if it could match the city’s benefits. Brewer said he was sorry to see Brown go.

“His smile is what always impressed me about him,” Brewer said. “It’s what I liked about him. It was effective. It didn’t matter the situation: always calm, always friendly in his approach and always fair.”

At the Columbia Police Department, Brown works as a patrol officer. Hammond was Brown’s supervisor from 2003 to 2004. He said Brown is a confident, experienced officer who knows how to read people.

“Curtis has always had the ability to listen to what people are telling him, not only with their words but also with their actions,” Hammond said.

Missourian reporter Kristin Swanson contributed to this story.

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