With the retirement of veteran Pine Bluff Police Lt. Lance Lawhon at the end of June, Police Chief Kelvin Sergeant has promoted Cassandra Briggs to lieutenant, filling Lawhon’s spot, and Temmiothy Johnson to sergeant to take the spot Briggs had.
Briggs has been assigned to the Violent Crimes Unit, while Johnson has been assigned to the Patrol Division on day shift.
A 2003 graduate of Pine Bluff High School and the daughter of Richard and Joyce Briggs, Briggs graduated from Southeast Arkansas College with an associate degree in Criminal Justice in 2010 and has attended the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, where she is working toward her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
Prior to joining the Police Department, Briggs worked for the Arkansas Department of Correction Diagnostic Unit for about four years and achieved the rank of officer first class. At the same time, she worked for the Pine Bluff School District as an administrative assistant in the guidance counselor’s office.
Briggs began her career with the Police Department in 2010 and was assigned to the Patrol Division. She went on to become a Field Training Officer and received several distinguished service awards.
In 2011, she received the Police Women of Honor Award. She was transferred to the Criminal Investigation Division in 2013, where she spent four-and-a-half years. As a detective, Briggs received numerous hours and certifications in training, including the Reid School.
She is also a 2014 graduate of the Homicide Investigation School at the University of Kentucky at Louisville, Kentucky. She has successfully solved and retained convictions on more than 200 felony cases. During the time she worked in the Detective Division, she received two Pine Bluff Outstanding Performance Awards, two Pine Bluff Service and Commendation Awards and a letter of commendation.
She also spent about eight months working in the Vice and Narcotics Division, where she was part of a special operation. Briggs was promoted to sergeant in 2017 and transferred to the Patrol Division, where she served as swing shift and day shift sergeant and was a field training sergeant.
She was also voted to be a member of the Awards and Grievance Committee. As a sergeant, Briggs has received the Meritorious Conduct Award and currently holds the advanced certification level from the Arkansas Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and Training. In 2018, Briggs launched the first Annual Beauty, Badges and Brunch Police Women Empowerment Symposium. She is also co-chair of the Pine Bluff Police Officers Annual Toy Drive, which began in 2018.
Briggs has received extensive supervisory training from the University of Arkansas Criminal Justice Institute and is a 2019 graduate of the 52nd session of the School of Law Enforcement Supervision.
Briggs is the first female firearms instructor in the history of the PBPD and also is a certified law enforcement instructor and radar instructor. She serves on the advisory board for the Jefferson Area Technical Career Center in the Criminal Justice Division and is a mentor to youth in Pine Bluff.
Briggs is the mother of two daughters, Ma’Kiya and Mya McAfee.
A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Johnson was born Aug. 8, 1973, the son of Gladys M. Brewer. He graduated from Northwest High School in June 1992. That same year, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and married his high school sweetheart, Tammy R. Shaw.
By the end of his tour of military service in September 1996, Johnson fathered two children, Tiffany D. Johnson and Temmiothy D. Johnson Jr. During his four years of military service he was awarded a National Defense Service Medal, a Sea Service Ribbon with one star, two Certificates of Commendation, two Rifle Expert Badges, a Pistol Sharpshooter Badge and an honorable discharge.
After his discharge, Johnson and his wife stayed in Arkansas for a short time before returning to St. Louis, where his second son, Teon R. Johnson, was born. He served as a Contract Armed Security Officer for the General Services Administration for six years. He also reignited one of his long lost passions for poetry and became a well-known Spoken Word Poet on the St, Louis underground poetry circuit.
Johnson and his wife returned to Arkansas in February 2005, and Johnson became a correctional officer with the Varner Supermax Unit of the Arkansas Department of Correction. While at the Department of Correction Training Academy, Johnson was nominated to be class leader.
By January 2006, Johnson was a correctional officer II and a field training officer. He was promoted to sergeant at the Varner Supermax in March 2006. While working for ADC, Johnson was awarded the First Place Marksmanship Award. He received letters of recognition, letters of commendation and served as one of the hostage negotiators at Varner.
Johnson joined the Pine Bluff Police Department in March, 2011. As a patrolman, he received numerous letters from his shift commander citing his job performance leading up to his assignment to field training officer. He remained a patrolman until his assignment to the Detective Division in August 2013. During his short time in the Patrol Division, he received Officer of the Month and a letter of commendation.
Since his assignment to the Detective Division, Johnson has solved 135 felony cases – everything from forgeries to homicides, and he has served as a detective field training officer. While assigned to detectives, Johnson received the Meritorious Conduct Award, two Distinguished Service Awards, three letters of commendation, two Outstanding Job Service Awards and a letter of commendation.
He is presently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and recently celebrated his 26th wedding anniversary with his three children and two grandchildren.