Black Civilian Named Police Personnel Chief


SEP. 19, 1987

Culminating an extensive nationwide search for its first black administrator, the San Diego Police Department on Friday named Leroy T. Brady as director of police personnel services.

Brady, 39, who grew up in Southeast San Diego, will be directly in charge of hiring, training and firing police officers. He is a management consultant and motivational speaker who has his own firm, the 2-year-old Personal Success Inc., and has published a book called “Power of Successful Thinking.” Brady also was personnel manager for ITT Defense Communications Division from 1984-86 and worked for NCR Corp. from 1980-84 in various personnel management jobs.

“He is a true professional with an outstanding track record in human resource management,” Police Chief Bill Kolender said Friday at a press conference. “After a seven-step screening process of 55 applicants, he clearly emerged as the best-qualified candidate. . . . I am impressed with his drive and determination, his personality and professionalism.”

Controversial Post

The new position of personnel services director--created earlier this year to more effectively manage the growing number of complaints and grievances generated by the department’s 2,300 employees--became controversial several weeks ago when police officials said they were searching for a black civilian. That announcement, intended to publicize police efforts to recruit the first black administrator, raised questions about whether the department was aggressively searching for the most qualified applicant regardless of race. Leaders of the San Diego Police Officers Assn. also criticized the plan to hire a civilian, saying

Leaders of the San Diego Police Officers Assn. also criticized the plan to hire a civilian, saying the position should be filled by a qualified captain.

There are no black captains, commanders or deputy chiefs in the department. Last week, police announced that all three finalists for the position were black. Brady, who lives in Clairemont, will earn between $42,000 and $66,000 a year.

Kolender insisted Friday that the department did not seek to hire a black, despite his earlier statements that the position was designed to be filled by a black. “I’m saying we did, in fact, hope that we could find someone that was black to fill this position, but that, if someone who had been white had come out No. 1, they would have gotten the job,” Kolender said.

Asked his feelings about the controversy surrounding the search for a black candidate, Brady said, “I think what ought to be considered is what happened. I applied, I worked hard and I earned it.”

Selection Hailed

Brady’s selection was hailed by black leaders.

“He’s a perfect example of something good coming out of Southeast San Diego,” said the Rev. George Walker Smith, the black minister who was named by Kolender earlier this month to head the new civilian review board on police conduct. “I’m happy to see some of our young folk brought up here in San Diego get such a position. I personally feel he will do an excellent job in that position. He has real integrity and is very ambitious, as well as a hard-working young man.”

Beverly DiGregorio, executive director of the San Diego YMCA human development department, said, “He is a natural leader. He is extremely articulate and able to comprehend issues quickly. He has the knack of bringing people to work together effectively.”

Brady earned a Ph.D. in management from Pacific Western University in Los Angeles. He attended Lincoln High, San Diego City College and San Diego State University, and teaches management courses at San Diego City and Mesa colleges.

Brady has written a series of articles recently on motivation and success for San Diego Weekly. He said he frequently gives motivational speeches to business groups, drawing examples from his own success.

I’ve always felt positive myself about life, hard work and determination,” Brady said in an interview this week. “I felt I wanted to spread that word as much as possible. Everyone has the opportunity to succeed. The problem is that many people take the choice not to succeed. My message is it’s just as easy to decide to be successful. I think that is where a lot of people miss the boat. They don’t believe they are worthwhile. I truly believe I have a worth.”