Did stolen guns prompt Brown’s resignation?

January 18, 2012

Paul Brown

Morro Bay Police department is looking for a new police officer.

That’s because Paul Brown, one-time San Luis Obispo restaurateur and city council member, has resigned from his officer-training position with the Morro Bay Police department.

Officials said Brown turned in his resignation Wednesday; no reason has been forthcoming.

Brown was in the ninth week of a 14-week field training session when CalCoastNews reported he had left an unregistered 38 caliber revolver and a loaded semi-automatic pistol in the center console of his personal car when he went home for the evening. Brown discovered the guns were missing and reported the theft to the San Luis Obispo Police department.

The Morro Bay department is still in the process of investigating that occurrence, and officials would not say if the resignation was connected to the stolen guns incident.

One of the weapons was said by Brown to have been registered to his father, who died two years ago. He said he was in the process of registering it in his name.

“I left my car unlocked,” he said after the theft. “I wish I could relive the moment.”

The Department of Justice recommends gun owners store their weapons in a safe and secure place and keep ammunition in a different location to prevent unauthorized use. In this case, the semi-automatic had a bullet in the chamber and the revolver had ammunition stored next to it.

Brown was the longtime owner of Mothers Tavern, and made an unsuccessful bid for mayor of San Luis Obispo.

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It pretty much cut and dry what happened, he was up front about it. However, Brown elected to choose a job requiring an “inexcusable” job requiring the maturity to handle a higher or double standard and he is presently not adapted to handling it. I am okay with whether Brown voluntarily resigns to save his department further embarrassment, or gets dismissed on probation. I am only content that the department did not slip and hire someone who would commit an act of moral turpitude (getting caught with hands in someone’s cookie jar or pants down with a minor or playing dirty harry cop)

Things happen for a reason, I am sure Brown realizes that he is “presently” not ready to handle the expected higher standard of being a cop. And when he and some LE agency feels he is ready, I don’t think he should be excluded from consideration. But for the present, what happened is still “inexcusable!

I am guessing he will not reapply being haunted that he has allowed an unknown criminal with deadly force somewhere out there. On one hand this negligence can be viewed as bad as an act of moral turpitude but without the intent. So Mr. Brown, you made a mistake, end your future endeavors in LE, that way a LE agency don’t have to be on a spot to bend from a very strict standard even though you made a simple mistake, your stolen gun may be used in a serious crime later!

“I am sure Brown realizes that he is “presently” not ready to handle the expected higher standard of being a cop.”

The higher standard of being a cop?? You mean not driving drunk (SLO UnderSheriff Bolts, CHP Captain Whited, CMC Lieutenant Romero), smuggling drugs (SLOPD’s McDow & Limon), beating up a disabled guy (SLOPD’s Cramer), avoiding property tax leins and writing your own promotion essay (SLO Sheriff Parkinson), and not reporting when your unregistered gun is stolen from your unlocked car (Paso Chief Solomon), among other things? About half these officers are still employed and received no disciplinary action!

Yes, the Law Enforcement Officers of SLO County have given Paul such great examples to follow! I wish that leaving unregistered guns in an unlocked car was the worst thing that our LEO’s were doing around here.

No disagreement

I am not envious of them and have no love for them

Half or more of the contacts made by LE “in the past – all over the state” among persons I regard as very civil, polite, and responsible for inadvented minor thengs or being in the wrong place at the wrong time were described as rude and “CS” as described by not only adults but well bought up y9oung adults.


I liken racial prejudice to LE.

If they leave a bad impression it can stick on a person for a lifetime.

It burns off in time with some who are fortunate to have met respectable and professional officers/people of any race. Other times I liken a cop with a big dog, if they are going after the bad guys I am comforted to know they are there but when they have nothing better to do than to eye us for breathing wrong then its like having a big barking dog come at you merely with their eyes.

My impression of Brown unlike some of the officers you mentioned) is he is not the likely type to seek pride in being hated, despised or feared by his community as a police officer, at least I don’t think so, I could be wrong.


You mean not driving drunk (SLO UnderSheriff Bolts, CHP Captain Whited, CMC Lieutenant Romero), smuggling drugs (SLOPD’s McDow & Limon), beating up a disabled guy (SLOPD’s Cramer), avoiding property tax leins and writing your own promotion essay (SLO Sheriff Parkinson), and not reporting when your unregistered gun is stolen from your unlocked car (Paso Chief Solomon), among other things? About half these officers are still employed and received no disciplinary action!

Those others are valid mentions, I already know rant about them, but I was only refering to Paul Brown!

Let’s NOT forget about all the DIRTY DEEDS done by former Sheriff, Pat Hedges! He’s the dirtiest of all!

Where is the possession of an unregistered handgun charges Jerry Shea? Do you job or we will recall you.

Clearly, this guy is not qualified to be a police officer. However, how about Lisa Sullivan? She’s STILL a “police chief”! How did THAT happen?

How did it happen? She’s a SHE. Reverse sexism. She’s been treated w/kid-gloves since the awful day she took office. If a man in her place did what she’s done and has acted how she has–well, he woulda been treated much differently. The City Council and City Manager turn a blind eye to her exploits and continue to prop her up despite her reign of embarrassment and incompetence. BTW, it’s Lisa SOLOMON Chitty, not Sullivan, but we all know who you’re talking about anyway. She’s pretty much the laughingstock of SLO County LEO’s.

Lisa Solomon is a dirt-bag. She should be prosecuted.

Thank you, Crusader, I meant Lisa Solomon, but for some reason had “Sullivan” on my mind!

I respect that Paul Brown gave his resignation. He should have. Now he can hold his head high knowing he did the right thing. He made a potentially lethal mistake, he admitted to it, he accepted responsibility and is paying the price and likely any other that comes from his actions.

Hey, with a smile like that, he can always run for office. Look kinda photogenic.

I know that a lot of people have a low opinion of Paul, but I don’t necessarily agree with that feeling. I’ve kind of known Paul from a distance beginning a few years after he opened Mother’s when he came into my business for an item that I offered for sale that he needed. I have never been social with him and I don’t agree with most of his politics, but I somehow get the feeling that he is basically a decent guy that has had a few times where he has not made the best decisions, which I can definitely relate to. I certainly don’t wish him ill will and hope that he finds some sort of direction that leads him to being in a better place in his life. I’m pretty sure that there is more to the story about his decision to leave the Morro Bay Police Department, but maybe some respect for his privacy wouldn’t be a bad idea.

There are a lot of “basically decent” people that wind up getting thrown in jail for far less.

Unregistered gun, ask a convicted New Orleans cop. There called a “Ham Sandwich” a throw away gun. Probably not the case. Nevertheless an officer who enforces the law should abide by it period. Believe me, if Morro Bay police officer pulled over a civilian they would be hooked and booked for the unregistered gun… As far as his resignation, 3 words, Internal Affairs Investigation…

You don’t know what you are talking about. I own guns that we given to me by my father more than 25 years ago when such transactions required absolutely no registration — in fact they still don’t for long arms (rifles and shotguns) until 2014. Had my father given me these same guns a year ago, no one except him and I would have been the wiser. Depending on the year of manufacture, Brown could simply have claimed his father gave them to him before such transfers required documentation.

Yeah but Paul Brown already implicated himself when he said he was just about to get the guns registered and just hadn’t done it yet.

I think he quit because there was something more to the story…not that leaving your firearms unattended in your unlocked vehicle, from which they were subsequently stolen, isn’t enough to get you booted from training camp.

Sure it is.

Here’s my Paul Brown story; never having met the man I was purchasing Macabee gopher traps at Farm Supply and the Poly girl clerking and I were figuring out how to set them (it”s a little tricky if it’s been a while) and Paul stepped in out of nowhere, made the same mistake as we had but failed to acknowledge it, as we had, and bent the crap out of the item at the time the clerk and I realized how it was done. Quite telling. She trashed the bent trap and got me a new one. Also not impressed with his performance downtown. A very establishment Hispanic friend of mine had some nasty racist harassment occur, out of nowhere, at a couple of concerts populated by Paul’s Camp San Luis buddies. On complaining to Paul he was told “if you don’t like it, leave” I also once saw the SLOFD hosing down the blood from a fight outside of Mother’s. Is this a City service like street sweeping? While the position of Police Officer may require some assertiveness not required in other vocations so does it require an exceptional level of prudence and judgement, plainly lacking.. As to his council term; = Dave Romero = Downtown stooge = Lower State Street is the planning model. WTF with this guy? Daddy bought him a band, daddy bought him a bar, daddy bought him a council seat. Why can’t he leave well enough alone?

He did the right thing but I kinda feel sorry for him now. He might be a nice guy so I feel bad that he has to go through this embarrassment. But I don’t feel that he was responsible enough to be a cop.


No one is perfect and many will lie, twist, rationalize and deny.

He is doing “the correct, appropriate, right thing” for now and I commend and respect him for it.

Although he made a mistake, honestly acknowledge it, I strongly believe after a grace period he can reapply to MBPD or any other agency and be re-accepted . I am sure of that and have no objection to because he did the most self respectable thing now without any childish BS.

Actually, I don’t think someone who has been accused of spousal abuse makes an ideal law enforcement candidate. He may be a “Hail Fellow, well met” – perhaps the private sector has a niche for him.

Good riddance to the job Paul. If you were to stay with it, the job would have ruined you. You would have become a pessimistic, negative, cynical bully; punishing good people for the victim-less mistakes they make. You will sleep better now knowing that deep down most people won’t hate you because of your job. You don’t have the personality for it anyway.

Hate is a wasted emotion. It touches the hater far more than the hatee. Having said that, I don’t hate anyone because of their jobs. Some people should not have the jobs they have. I use Congress as a prime example. Many do not deserve to be a member of our Congress. But money is a powerful ally.

did you cut-and-paste this comment from the Trib? I think I just read these exact same words!

not you, danika…but “slowtime”…or whatever his other name is on the Trib chatboard

Yup pasop, with permission too. Interesting the different reaction. Now Paul doesnt have to worry about spit and p hairs in his food when he eats out. Contrary to what you naysayers believe, alot of folks dont like cops, for good reason sometimes too. The bad apples spoil the whole bunch. ie; your Chief.