Brownwood City Council members unanimously approved the hiring Tuesday of a veteran San Angelo police lieutenant as Brownwood’s next police chief.

“It is my honor to announce to you today that we have selected Ed Kading from San Angelo as the City of Brownwood police chief recommendation,” City Manager Emily Crawford said before council members voted.

Kading, a Huntsville native, starts work in Brownwood July 8 and replaces former chief Terry Nichols, who resigned in April to become police chief in Seguin.

Kading has spent more than 25 years at the San Angelo Police Department, where he held several command positions including commander of the SWAT team and Street Crimes Division which includes narcotics, gangs and special operations.

Crawford said Kading was the unanimous choice of an interview committee that consisted of herself, officers Fred Bastardo and Ray Slaton and council members Draco Miller and Larry Mathis.

Crawford said she and other interview committee members spoke with City of San Angelo employees and others who were not connected with the city. Committee members learned that Kading commanded “a great amount of respect and admiration … he is truly loved, truly respected,” Crawford said.

Kading, speaking with the media after the council meeting, said he set a goal early in his career of becoming a police chief.

“Chief Nichols did great things here and I understand I have a high bar to get over, but I want to put my stamp, my style of leadership on things,” Kading said.

Kading made a few trips to Brownwood during the hiring process and “whether they knew who I was or not, every single person in Brownwood that I have met has been nothing but polite, helpful, whether they knew I was a candidate for chief or not,” Kading said. “Everybody’s been so nice.

“I like this atmosphere. I like this area.  And to be able to do this and have my children literally right down the road, it’s wonderful.”

  Kading was referring to his 21-year-old son, Donovan, who attends Angelo State University, and his 7-year-old daughter, Ellen.

When asked his impression of the Brownwood Police Department, Kading said, “All I’ve been able to really do is know who some of the personnel are. For obvious reasons the city didn’t really want to have any real interaction between me and the department until (Tuesday).

“ But I’ve done my research. I think it’s a young department overall. We’re going to have challenges and we’re going to have good days and not so good days perhaps. My sense is that you have a bunch of guys and gals who care about this community and want to go out and do good things.”

Kading said he knows the police department “is actively engaged in the community. We’re going to do that even more, if that’s possible, because I think you can’t build relationships in times of crisis. You have to build those relationships when times are good.”

Kading said he expects to talk with residents and find out  “exactly what people expect and want from their police department. We talk a lot in law enforcement about crime stats. Everybody can get ahold of crime stats.

“But something that we don’t usually ask … I’d like to talk to the citizens and say ‘I know what are crime stats are. What is your level of fear of being a victim of crime?’ That’s what I want to know.”

Kading said Brownwood and San Angelo “have all of the exact same problems, just on a different scale, and so does every other community in this country. They all have the same problems. We all have the same issues in our society.

“I don’t suspect the type of problems that I’m going to deal with are any different than I ever have, just a different payload, of them, maybe.”   

At a police department the size of Brownwood, Kading said, he can get to know every employee. 

“I’m a student of leadership and I want to leave this profession and this city better than I found it,” Kading said. “I have no doubt that Brownwood’s doing an excellent job. I can’t wait to get in there and just work with the guys and put our own stamp on things.

At the police station, Kading said, I’ll be the guy that walks around … I want to get to know these guys. I’m more of a cheerleader. I’m there to support you.”

According to a press release from the city:

After graduating from high school in Huntsville, Kading attended Sam Houston State University on a golf scholarship. After graduating with a bachelor of science in criminal justice, Kading joined the San Angelo Police Department.

Kading’s career in San Angelo has given him experience in every aspect of local policing. He spent his early years as a patrol officer, fraud and forgery detective and narcotics investigator. After promoting to sergeant in 2003, Kading spent time supervising a patrol shift, the Criminal Investigation Division and the Narcotics Division before joining the Office of Professional Standards.

In 2011, Kading promoted to lieutenant where he commanded a patrol shift and was assigned as the training coordinator for the department’s training academy. 

In 2016, Kading assumed command of the Street Crimes Division. He spent 16 years on the SAPD SWAT team and was chosen as SWAT commander in 2016.

Kading is a student of law enforcement and leadership. In 2006, he graduated from Angelo State University with a Master of Public Administration. In 2017, he graduated from the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.

Kading is a Texas Commission on Law Enforcement advanced instructor and has taught courses around the state involving internal affairs investigations, and teaches courses at the San Angelo Police Department Academy including professionalism and ethics, the U.S. and Texas constitutions, professional policing and first line supervisor/leadership.                         

Kading is the proud father of two children, Donovan, 21, and Ellen, 7.