A Police Leader Who “Gets It!”

When Capt. Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Patrol took over command in Ferguson, things changed.

Why was that? To find out view this video. Then let’s talk about what you saw.

This style of leadership is what I talk about in this blog and have written in Arrested Development.

It’s QUALITY LEADERSHIP!

 

More on Capt. Johnson:

[From Time Magazine] Ronald S. Johnson was born in St. Louis in 1951 to a father who worked in campus security for St. Louis University, and a mother who worked as a chemical receiving clerk. His mother says he wanted to be a police officer almost as soon as he learned to read. He joined the Highway Patrol in 1987, shortly after graduating from college, and was quickly promoted through the ranks before becoming a Captain in 2002. He lives in Florissant, Mo., near Ferguson, with his wife and two children, both in their 20s…

After Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon pulled St. Louis County Police out of Ferguson and replaced them with Missouri State Highway Patrol on Thursday, led by Captain Johnson, the tensions seems to have cooled…

The unrest in Ferguson has led to a national discussion about how young men of color are treated by the criminal justice system. And while it’s not yet clear how Captain Johnson will manage the civil discontent around the killing with the ongoing investigation into Brown’s death, his presence seems to have soothed tensions.

“I think he’s a calming influence on people,” said former Missouri State Highway Patrol Superintendent Colonel Roger Stottlemyer, who promoted Johnson to Captain in 2002. “I think he knows the people there, he knows what their concerns are, he can relate to them having come from that community.” Although he didn’t have exact numbers, Stottlemyer said that at the time Johnson was rising in the ranks, there were fewer than 100 officers of color in a force of 1,200 officers. “He was a star, and it was obvious from the beginning. Stottlemyer said he promoted Johnson to Captain partly because he was impressed with his leadership style…”

[To read the entire article CLICK HERE.]

 

 

 

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About improvingpolice

I served over 20 years as the chief of police in Madison (WI), four years as chief of the Burnsville (MN) Police Department, and before that as a police officer in Edina (MN) and the City of Minneapolis. I hold graduate degrees from the University of Minnesota and Edgewood College in Madison. I have written many articles over my years as a police leader calling for police improvement (for example, How To Rate Your Local Police, and with my wife, Sabine, Quality Policing: The Madison Experience). After retiring from the police department, I answered a call to ministry, attended seminary, and was ordained as a priest in the Episcopal Church. At the present time, I serve a small church in North Lake (WI), east of Madison. Sabine and I have nine adult children, eleven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She is also a retired police officer and we both continue active lives.

6 Responses to “A Police Leader Who “Gets It!””

  1. Try to click on the full article; however, it state only full security content

  2. What Captain Johnson has proved to be, is a political pandering by Governor Nixon. Johnson’s partaking of a demonstration (it’s all on video) along with the demonstrators, marching and chanting with them, his many statements of solidarity with the demonstrators, saying he has a “personal dog in the fight, a big one” along with the demonstrators, and then poor mouthing police chief Jackson for releasing the video of 292 pound, 6 foot four inch Mike Brown, committing strong arm robbery, minutes before Brown’s run in with Officer Darren Wilson (all of a sudden transparency is racist???, they wanted the facts, now they say they should not have been revealed?), shows either a lack of gumption for refusing to be a political tool for the Governor, or a wanting for a public office and piece of the pie, himself.
    Johnson sounded fine to start off with, but both his pandering, and then all of sudden his defense of his own swatification of the situation when the crowds kept rioting, makes him look like a mealy mouthed hypocrite, trying to have a bet everyway there is…
    Johnson was instant glamour, a black police messiah, but now looks more like a Judas to Policepersons everywhere, as well as an affirmative action choice, rushed through the ranks because of hue. He wasn’t chosen because he was a good cop, he was chosen to run alongside of Al Sharpton..

    Things haven’t changed at all, and Johnson and Nixon are coming out of this even worse, than Chief Jackson, whose obtuse and deaf handling of the initial confrontations with demonstrators was truly staggering.

    The video should have been released within hours of the Robbery, so that the beatification of thug and criminal Michael Brown did not have a chance to gather momentum.

    But Police throughout America, today, have a poor opinion of DOG Secretary Holder. Governor Nixon, and Captain Johnson, and Captain Jackson, not so much, and much sympathy for Officer Darren Wilson. Captain Johnson had a lot of sympathy for the criminal Brown, not very much for Officer Wilson.

    Sorry Chief, but you can put this one in your “Fail” file.

    • Does the strong-arm stealing of a box of cigars warrant a death penalty? I think not.

      • So you have judged that white racist Policeman Darren Wilson saw the poor innocent black child MIchael Brown, who wouldn’t hurt a fly, merrily skipping down the street, scattering rose petals, on his way to Grandma’s House, where he was going to brush up on his AP course in Quantum Physics, before starting “College” (they have degrees in air condtioner repair now?), and decided to gun down this child in the street in pursuit of his racist mission to keep African Americans under heel.

        Because that’s what the implication is when you state that strong robbery doesn’t merit a death sentence… That’s what the demonstrably false meme perpetuated by the MSM has been, Michael Brown the innocent child.

        That’s what the Missouri Governor and Missori DOG, and Obama, and Holder and Captain Johnson have been playing into, and ecnouraging

        You personally would have put up your hand, and said stop! to the 6 foot 4 inch 300 pound behemoth bearing down on you, and explained nicely to him, .. what? After he had fractured your eye socket leading to shall we say, somewhat bleary vision, and shall we say a certain weakness, unsteadiness and shock??

        I think you would have used your firearm as quickly as possible, and kept mashing the trigger, till your attacker was stopped.

        I notice that you have not a word to respond to my take down of Captain Johnson, and you will be very well aware that you will have to look long and hard to find a street active LEO, who shares your view. I’d like you to find me one.

        Certainly Officer Wilson deserves a great deal more from you, than “Does the strong-arm stealing of a box of cigars warrant a death penalty? I think not.”…

      • I understand what you are saying. And without judging Officer Wilson, I was responding to those who, once having seen the store video of a strong-arm robbery that Brown deserved what he got. As we all know, this is a VERY complex case and there are emotions at work that have little to do with what happened between Wilson and Brown. Perhaps we will never know. Police shootings are always highly charged, emotional events… effective police leaders know that and try to manage the context knowing that in the end few may be satisfied. I appreciate your response. But what I am saying here is that in spite of the tragedy for everyone connected to this incident, there may be a trove of learning here for police.

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