Ed Kading was sworn in Monday as Brownwood’s new police chief, filling a three-month vacancy created by the resignation of former Chief Terry Nichols.
Kading’s 21-year-old son, Donovan, of San Angelo, pinned the police chief’s badge on his father’s uniform in a ceremony at the Law Enforcement Center. Other Kading family members including Kading’s 7-year-old daughter, Ellen, and several former colleagues from the San Angelo Police Department — where Kading worked for more than 25 years — joined local officials and law enforcement officers as Kading took command of the Brownwood department.
“Welcome to Brown County,” Sheriff Vance Hill said after administering the Law Enforcement Oath of Honor to Kading.
City Manager Emily Crawford recognized the work of Assistant Police Chief James Fuller for his leadership following the resignation in April of Nichols, who took the job of Seguin police chief. Crawford also recognized the efforts of the five-member search committee which was unanimous in choosing Kading.
“I know transition and change is hard, and can be stressful and unknown,” Crawford told the Brownwood officers who were present. “But you all hit the streets every day to serve the public with honor and excellence.”
Crawford thanked Kading for choosing Brownwood. “I know we made the offer, but you accepted,” Crawford said. “I think it speaks heavily that you came from an agency and city were you served 25 years … we appreciate you choosing Brownwood.”
Mayor Stephen Haynes told Kading there is “no greater honor I can give to you than to entrust you with the protection and safety of the city. … Not only are we entrusting you with the protection of our citizens, but we are entrusting you with the protection of these men and (officers).
“These are good men and women who have done a lot for Brownwood. … I know you’ll make lifelong friends but also do great work for the city.”
After acknowledging his former colleagues from San Angeo, Kading said, “I want to thank the city of Brownwood for being so thorough and diligent in the chief selection process. Although it was a little stressful at times, it gave us the opportunity to become familiar with each other as we start what is sure to be a long productive relationship.”
Kading thanked his son and daughter for being present and acknowledged the work of Nichols and previous chiefs “and the work they did in developing an energetic professional police department.”
Kading said when he attended the FBI National Academy, a professor there “challenged us to consider what our legacy would be.” He said the professor instructed them to “begin with the end in mind and align all of your activities to your highest values.
“As hard as that may be to identify, when one looks internally, it all becomes clear,” Kading said. “Personally I’m committed to being a good citizen that focuses on always trying to do the right thing. I always strive to be a good father and friend. Professionally, I’m here to work with you, watch as we develop each other, be even more professional, effective and leave this profession better than I found it over 25 years ago.”
Kading said he challenges his officers to “consider and live your legacy. Love your life. This life is such a gift. Have big hopes and do your best to achieve them. Be enthusiastic and grateful. Get excited about things and be an expert at something.
“Always remember that your attitude is a barometer for how you experience your life. Accept yourself and strive for exceptional character. Each of us is totally unique. Tap into your amazing strengths and bring out your talent.”
Relationships are built on a foundation of truth, Kading said.
“Inspire and respect others,” Kading said. “I’m setting the bar high, not fearing failure, rather (fearing) settling for mediocrity. Be good to each other but have fun. Even though we see, hear and deal with unspeakable things, this is a wonderful rewarding professor.”
Kading said he experienced a wide range of emotions since being offered the job as Brownwood police chief.
“Honestly in those early hours of learning I was your choice, I was terrified,” Kading said. “That passed and moved to feeling a little overwhelmed, but finally, at peace, confident and ready.
“At the heart of reaching this state of emotion was the overwhelming support of all the people I have met throughout this process here in Brownwood. You have welcomed me to your community, you have been helpful and friendly making this a smooth transition. Brownwood is now my home and you have assured that it feels as such.”
Kading, a native of Huntsville, held the rank of lieutenant when he left the San Angelo Police Department, where held held several command positions including commander of the SWAT team and Street Crimes Division which includes narcotics, gangs and special operations.