Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of stories about Pine Bluff police officers who are daily putting their lives on the line but seldom get the recognition they deserve for all they do.
When Temmiothy Johnson was assigned to the Detective Division in 2013, one of the first things he did was change his address.
“We were living in Dermott, but I decided that if the department was going to invest in me, I was going to invest in Pine Bluff, so we found a spot and moved here,” he said.
A native of St. Louis, Johnson joined the department in 2011 after previously working at Reed and at Dermott.
“I was looking to get back into law enforcement,” Johnson said. “Being in a bigger city was a factor and there was an opportunity here. I actually applied twice and was hired by (former police chief Brenda Davis) Jones.”
Johnson said he came to Arkansas because of his wife, who is from Dermott and had moved to St. Louis when she was very young.
“We were high school sweethearts,” he said. “We met in chemistry class and we’ve been married 24 years.”
Like all newly-hired officers, Johnson was assigned to the Patrol Division to begin his career. But his work so impressed his supervisors that he was soon assigned to field training officer school.
He said now-Deputy Chief Kelvin Hadley showed him techniques and ways of doing things that helped him to become a better officer, then a field training officer. Johnson was assigned to the 3-11 p.m. shift of the Detective Division in 2013, where he said he got an opportunity to investigate a variety of cases, including homicides, robberies, rapes and assault cases.
“That is the best shift to learn on,” said Johnson, who was reassigned to the day shift earlier this year.
“On days, we get an occasional murder but more of what I call white collar crimes — thefts and the like,” he said, admitting that day shift is better on his home life.
“I think I’ve actually lost weight because my wife and I have had the chance to go to the gym three or four times a week,” Johnson said.
He is currently working on a bachelor of science degree in criminal justice and said he has no plans to leave.
“This is one of the best departments to work for, and I want to see where it’s going to go from here because I want to go with them,” Johnson said.