At this point Matt Brady is no longer really a new guy, since he has been working in Vernonia for over a year. In fact Officer Brady seems to be fitting in rather well as the newest member of the Vernonia Police Department.
Matt Brady joined the VPD in November of 2011. He attended the Police Academy from January through April of 2012. Previously Brady worked as a reserve officer in North Plains for over five years. He says he was already familiar with Vernonia having spent time helping with the annual Jamboree and knew several of the officers, so when the opportunity to work in Vernonia came available, Brady took it.
Brady says he really likes the environment here in Vernonia. He says he likes the small town atmosphere and feel. He also says who he works with is important. “The people were really the biggest draw for me,” says Brady. “I’d rather work in place where I get along with my coworkers more than anything else. It’s really important to me to work in a good environment. Knowing Chief Connor and some of the other officers was a big draw for me.”
Brady has a family history in law enforcement. He says that one of his main influences in making law enforcement a career was an uncle who lived in Phoenix, Arizona and was a reserve officer with the Arizona State Police. “I remember going down there to visit him when I was little, and seeing the uniforms and hearing all the interesting stories about what he did,” explains Brady. “He was also sort of a local celebrity—he did a lot of news reporting, hosted local television shows, was a traffic reporter. He also did public service announcements and volunteer work to raise awareness about certain issues for the state. So he first sparked my interest. He just a passed away a few a years ago and they actually flew the flag over the state capital building at half-mast in his honor.”
Brady also says his mother worked as a Director in the Washington County probation department, so he has spent a lot of time, “around the environment,” of law enforcement.
Before being hired as a regular officer with Vernonia, Brady says he worked for a wind energy company providing emergency management and disaster recovery.
Brady says he grew up in a family that traveled and moved a lot. He says he is thankful for the opportunity he was provided to experience different parts of the United States, both east coast and west coast. He says the family ended up in the pacific northwest where his grandfather and family were loggers.
Brady is a certified instructor and teaches motorcycle riding with the Team Oregon program. He says he has also volunteered for ten years working with homeless youth in downtown Portland, which he says has been a big influence in his ability to work with people in difficult situations.
Officer Brady brings a lot of training experience to the Vernonia Department. He has relationships with other law enforcement departments in Washington County, in Hillsboro and a brother with the Lake Oswego Police Department. Brady says he was able to tap into those connections to help elevate the training in North Plains and also now in Vernonia. He and his brother recently made a Safe Schools presentation to the Vernonia School District. He was also recently involved with helping to run an Emergency Vehicle Operators Course training at Portland International Raceway, which he has done several times in the past.
Brady says he is really enjoying working in the Vernonia community. “ I think a really big part of this job is dealing with people,”says Brady. “You have to take people for who they really are, be able to look past outward appearances and what is happening in a certain situation and try to find out what is really going on. I’ve found that to be really helpful. Especially in a community like this where people are very tight. I need to make the effort and say ‘I’m here to help you and how can I do that?’”
Brady says that he recognizes that he is still new here in Vernonia. “It takes time to build relationships,” he says. ‘I know that this is not a sprint, it’s a marathon and it takes time to get to know people and the environment. I just have to be patient, especially with myself and let those things happen. It’s been good so far. I like it here.”
Officer Brady is married with children and grandchildren. He enjoys riding his motorcycle-he has a 2003 BMW Sports Touring bike. He also loves to cook, especially barbecuing and grilling. He says he really spends most of his spare time with his family and grandchildren.
Officer Matt Brady seems to be a good fit for Vernonia. His past experience working with people, his experience as a trainer, and his ability to make connections make him a real asset to the VPD and the community.