Police Chief Johnson to Resign ~ Annapolis Capital Punishment

Friday, February 29, 2008

Police Chief Johnson to Resign

I hope that others will join with me in thanking Chief Johnson for his many years of public service. I have been among his critics and have asked that he resign, but I have always respected his experience and his dedication. There is no doubt that the department has improved during his tenure. What I have heard from many citizens and even from some elected officials is that he was stubborn and repeatedly refused to consider or honor a wide variety of requests to amend policing policies. I was most concerned when he addressed a public meeting and seemed unable to articulate his vision of community policing. He seemed to constantly be asking for citizen involvement and support but at the same time, he was often not listening to citizen's concerns.

We can never forget the fact that like every other appointed official, he is hired by and reports to the mayor. Had she acted more like a leader and listened to citizen complaints, perhaps things would have been different. We are now faced with finding a new chief, one who is likely to come on board when there will be less than 18 months remaining in the Moyer Administration. That may prove to be a stumbling point.

It has been widely rumored that this resignation was imminent. Johnson is 65 years old and had cardiac surgery last year. With the recent announcement of the high-level state program for coordinating crime fighting in Annapolis, it would seem obvious why he waited until that was in place to announce his retirement.

I wish Chief Johnson all the best and thank him for his service.


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