Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson honored by Police Executive Research Forum

Posted Monday, May. 06, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

The Washington-based Police Executive Research Forum recognized Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson as the recipient of its 2013 Gary P. Hayes Memorial Award on Friday in Milwaukee.

The award honors the memory of the group’s first executive director, who helped lead a major wave of improvements in American policing. It is presented annually to “up-and-coming” law enforcement professionals whose character, record of leadership and commitment to better policing embody the ideals to which Hayes was committed. Former Arlington Police Chief Theron Bowman won the award in 2004.

Johnson, who served as interim chief for almost a year after Bowman was named a deputy city manager in April 2012, has been with the Arlington Police Department for 16 years.

“Will is a great ‘street cop’ who successfully ascended through the ranks while retaining the respect of the officers,” Bowman said in nominating Johnson for the award. “As he worked his way up through the ranks, he developed strong skills in areas such as homeland security, investigations, SWAT, traffic enforcement and gangs. His superior communication abilities, results orientation and overall leadership have earned him the respect of his officers and peers. One of his greatest strengths is his ability to think conceptually and implement effective problem-solving initiatives.”

Bowman provided a list of more than 50 items demonstrating Johnson’s leadership, including the following:

• Johnson achieved an 11 percent reduction in crime in 2012, which is especially significant considering that the city ended 2011 with crime at historical lows. He has also increased case clearance rates, reduced gang shootings and increased gang arrests.

• He has led departmentwide and regional planning for major sports events, including Super Bowl XLV, the 2010 and 2011 World Series and the 2010 NBA All-Star Game.

• He created an employee recognition system to promote positive work and improve staff morale.

— Patrick M. Walker

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?