GMSP: SPPD Sr. Officer Johnson
honored by Chamber of Commerce
June 20, 2014
Santa Paula News
A Santa Paula Senior Police Officer that wears many hats - and a varying number of stripes - was honored by the Chamber of Commerce as the Public Officer of the Quarter.
SPPD Jeremy Watson played dual roles at the June breakfast meeting, acting as a presenter of the award as well as standing in for award recipient Senior Officer Larry Johnson to accept the recognition.
GMSP Moderator Ben Schuck urged Watson to, “Tell us what you know about Larry that is public, complimentary and appropriate for a person that would receive this award... “
Said Watson of Johnson, “My opinion is Larry is best suited for Officer of the Year and there’s still time to go for that.
“He’s an exemplary officer,” with such strong leadership skills that Johnson was an Acting Sergeant “with two stripes... and although he’s stepped down he still demonstrates strong leadership,” in his attitude and respect for other officers who respect him in turn.
Johnson is a K9 handler whose partner is Zak and as a member of the SWAT Team Johnson is “considered the scout... he scouts out the locations, gathers the intelligence and puts together the game plan,” of highly organized SWAT actions such as warrant searches and high-risk arrests.
“Generally,” said Watson, “that would be the duty of the team leader... that’s me but because of Larry’s skills I step back and let him do what he does best... lead.”
“Generally,” said Watson, “that would be the duty of the team leader - that’s me, but because of Larry’s skills I step back and let him do what he does best... lead.”
Johnson, Watson noted, “Has put together operation plans for many, many incidents and does an outstanding job... he deserves this award but should be Officer of the Year.”
Dr. Paul Chounet, the Santa Paula Unified School District assistant superintendent who handles special projects, said he serves with Johnson on the Emergency Preparedness Committee.
“The committee works to provide protection,” to the students in unforeseen emergencies of various types, and Chounet said Johnson has been an invaluable member of the team.
“Larry comes to all the meetings, comes even on his own time and,” said Chounet, “is vital to our efforts in emergency preparedness.”
Schuck asked Watson to tell Johnson “We appreciate what he does for the schools... “
Noted Watson, “He also does more for the schools,” ranging from bringing Zak to campuses to interact with the students and helping with SPPD SWAT training for incidents such as active shooters.
“Larry also trains patrol officers in emergency response... he loves that, jumped into that on his own,” again, said Watson, “one of his leadership skills... he takes things on like that all on his own.”