Rookie Officer Trades Dispatch for Police Badge After Murder of Two PSPD Colleagues

Rookie Officer Trades Dispatch for Police Badge After Murder of Two PSPD Colleagues

Max Rodriguez

The flag flew at half-staff in honor of Palm Springs police officers Lesley Zerebny and Jose Gil Vega, the murder of these officers disturbed an entire community, but for those working in the department that day, words cannot express what took place.

Officer Chad Brown was working at dispatch three years ago, he said that day change his life and he decided to make a change.

He heard the commotion, the sirens and his colleagues in distress.

“It was very frustrating and it was very tough being stuck inside dispatch and not be able to do more,” Brown said. “I remember going home and I think everyone equally in the department felt the same way, but I remember going home that day and feeling I wish I could have done more, responded out there myself.”

Vega was a 37 year veteran in the force, while Zerebny had been more than a year in the department when they responded to a disturbance and were gun-downed outside a Palm Springs home.

“A lot of calls coming in, a lot of things happening at once but a lot of unfortunate events took place that day,” Brown said. “It was one of the most traumatic events this department has ever seen.”

He took the frustration he felt that day and decided he wanted to be out in the field. Three years later he hanged his dispatch uniform for a police badge.

Brown said, “Honestly that day, Officer Vega and Officer Zerebny, inspired me to want to apply and go through the process and that kind of brings me to where I am at today, so I am in training to hopefully and successfully be a good police officer.”

Brown plans to complete his police training and patrol on his own by the end of the year.