New face on the force: Mike Johnson named Chief of Police for Luverne PD
At last week’s specially called Luverne City Council meeting, it was decided that Mike Johnson would be named the new Luverne Chief of Police for the remaining terms of the current city council and mayor.
“I was nervous, excited and now I’m ready to get to work,” Johnson said.
Johnson currently serves as the chief deputy for the Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Office, and has served as an officer in Crenshaw County since November 2012.
In his time at the Sheriff’s Office, he has held positions in patrol, investigation, as chief investigator and as chief deputy.
Before working in Crenshaw County, Johnson began his career as an officer at the Troy Police Department.
He completed the Alabama Peace Officers Standard of Training requirements to become an officer, and also has 15 years of other training and certifications.
The idea of applying for the position of chief first occurred to Johnson when he heard his long-time friend and former Luverne Chief of Police Paul Allen would be retiring.
“I live here in the city, so I’m here every day. I raise my kids here, and I see some of the things that need changing,” Johnson said.
“Chief is a good guy and a good friend of mine, so when I heard he was retiring I wanted to put in for the slot.”
Johnson believes that his experience as an officer, along with his vested interest in the community, made him a good candidate for the position.
At Allen’s recent retirement party, he gave his advice to Johnson about the role of chief.
“I’m not going to try to boss you, but I have a few words. Listen to the concerns of the people. Listen to what your officer say,” Allen said.
“Let every decision you make be with the citizens in mind and with the police officers in mind. Did I say listen? Listen again.”
Allen urged Johnson to readily prepare for the job he has been entrusted with, and reminded him of the responsibility that is to come with the title of chief.
“There’s a lot of power you wield. You will change peoples’ lives. You should not take that lightly,” Allen said.
Johnson will work his last day at the Crenshaw County Sheriff’s Office on Feb. 7, and his first day on the force with the Luverne Police Department will be Feb. 8.
“I’ve got a lot of plans, but I’m ready to get in there, get my feet wet and get to work,” he said.
“I have a lot of changes in mind. It may take me a little bit to implement some of them and some of them I can implement immediately. I just have to get down there and get a feel, see what we’ve got and what we’ve got to do.”