2007 5:15 PM
Annapolis Police Chief Joseph S.
Johnson, Jr., announces that he is retiring as of June, 2008.
is a message from Chief Johnson in which he announces that he is retiring as
Chief of the Annapolis Police Department. In addition, the Chief would like to
thank the citizens, businesses, media, and everyone else who have helped him in
his mission along the way.
Chief Johnson's message:
I plan to retire as the Chief of Police for the City of Annapolis in June of 2008.
I spoke with Mayor Moyer on my 65th birthday, which was considered retirement age back in the day. It was not a decision made lightly, but after consultation with my wife of 37 years, my family, and my doctors, I reached this conclusion. After my
hospital stay in June 2007, for heart bypass surgery, both my primary doctor and
my specialists recommended that I not return to work. However, out of commitment to this community and working through my doctors, I was able to convince them
that such a sudden departure was not healthy for the citizens I serve. Conversely, it would not be healthy for me to continue to serve indefinitely. We reached a compromise that would allow me to stay on without undue medical risk, primarily to assist with finding a suitable replacement and make the transition as smooth as possible.
There were also a few things I wanted to set in motion to give my successor a firm foundation to address our most pressing current needs.
Key to this is the new Capital City Safe Streets Initiative involving a partnership of
residents and city, county, state, and federal officials to address the urgent
needs of public safety, to be rid of the criminal activity which impacts
our community. I've heard the anger and the outrage about the crime in
public housing. All good citizens living in our city deserve to feel safe and
secure within their neighborhood, and I believe this initiative will achieve
this goal. We should use this new initiative to significantly increase police
presence in public housing, as well as installing cameras and other technology
to keep criminals and those who support them out of public housing.
While there have been some disappointments during my tenure, there
have certainly been more achievements. I*m very pleased to have seen the agency
through the consent decree, earn fully accredited status, and reach such a high
level of achievement with our Neighborhood Watch Program. I*m very pleased
with the high quality and high standards we've set for our police officers. I*m gratified that the Headquarters renovations are finally on the right track. In addition, I'm extremely proud that I was a part of the team that produced the five years of
the lowest UCR Crime rate on record in Annapolis.
By planning my retirement for June 2008, I will leave with pride in what we as a
city have accomplished in the fourteen years that I have directed the force. My
retirement will allow me to spend a lot more time with my wife, children and
grandchildren, and after forty - three years in the demanding career of law
enforcement, it's long overdue. Delaying my retirement until June will allow for
a comprehensive search for, and selection of, a new chief. This will allow
my successor to become well acquainted with the Annapolis community and the
unique requirements of its police chief that our city deserves and demands, and
be ready to lead on day one.
Joseph S. Johnson, Jr.
I think most observers would agree that "it's about time", but there are at least some who attest to the chief's ability and dedication. Murders and drug related crimes are trending upward, and the nature of modern-day police recruitment is clearly not grasped by the Moyer/Johnson administration. However, the chief can only work with the resources he is given, and I have heard stories of him standing up to the Mayor, putting to her "Either this is your department or it's mine".
It will be interesting to see the strategy for the next chief--an internal promotion or someone who makes a splash?