- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 2, 2002

LAS VEGAS — Anthony Brown patrols the streets of Las Vegas by day, but when the sun goes down, he trades in his badge and gun for a sequined suit.

The police officer is a show-boy in a traditional Las Vegas spectacle.

"I never thought I'd come here and dance, and I never thought I'd be a cop," he says.

Officer Brown, 40, has just left the police station and is on his way to a nearby middle school to check out a rumor that a student is planning a drive-by shooting.

"Is it OK if I search your car?" he asks a teen-ager stopped for driving a vehicle identified as one that could be involved in the planned attack.

The teen shrugs, and Officer Brown goes to work. Students pass by on the sidewalk, and the policeman, with his engaging personality, greets them, even jokingly asking one for some of his candy.

No gun is turned up, and Officer Brown continues his patrol after the false alarm.

On his lunch break, he goes for a five-mile run. When his shift ends at 4:45 p.m., he heads to kick-boxing class to train for another competition. By 6:30 p.m., he is backstage at one of the city's trademark shows "Jubilee" at Bally's hotel and casino on the Strip.

Officer Brown sheds his macho image to don a sequined suit and on some nights, nothing but a G-string to dance in two shows six times a week.

"When you're dancing, nothing else matters. In that moment, you feel a sense of accomplishment," he says, still wearing his tan police uniform.

Officer Brown grew up in Brooklyn, N.Y., and trained for years in jazz and ballet. He dropped out of college to perform in musical theater off-Broadway and in 1985 landed in the dance line of "Jubilee."

"John Travolta made it cool to be a male dancer," he says.

He eventually tired of dancing and thought he needed a change. So, in 1988, he left the show and joined the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

He found he was depressed without dancing, however, and knew he had to do it again. He rejoined "Jubilee" in 1992, and he has been policing and dancing ever since.

"I've seen him perform, and I wasn't too impressed," Officer James Villarreal says teasingly with a smile.

"He was off beat."

Despite the ribbing he takes from his friends on the force, Officer Brown is not one to pirouette into crime scenes. He never dances on duty, he says.

Officer Villarreal can't resist, though.

"It's very much like 'West Side Story'" he says. "He'll step out with his little dance steps. It really throws the edge off. I let him lift me up every now and then."

Hours later, Officer Brown is backstage at "Jubilee," showing off his costumes a sparkling tuxedo, a top hat and his least favorite black boots with red feathers.

"We think it's kind of scary he's out there protecting us," dancer Scott Lockwood jokes in the men's dressing room. "I don't know how he does the hours."

Then the show manager announces over an intercom: "This is a half-hour call."

Officer Brown sits at his vanity table, slips on his black dance shoes and prepares for another performance.

"I have my moments when I have my solitude, and it's just quiet. Not many, but I enjoy this life," he says.

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