Candidate for IACP 4th Vice President: Will Johnson

Candidate for IACP 4th Vice President: Will Johnson

Will JohnsonChief Will Johnson has twenty-eight years of law enforcement experience and serves as the Chief Special Agent and Assistant Vice President of the BNSF Railway Police Department. BNSF Railway is one of the largest railroad companies in North America, operating in 28 U.S. states and three Canadian provinces. Before joining BNSF Railway, Chief Johnson served eight years as the Arlington, Texas, Chief of Police, leading a team of nearly 1,000 employees. Under Chief Johnson's leadership, APD earned national recognition as a premier law enforcement agency in the United States for promoting community policing, procedural justice, and protecting the civil rights of all people.. Chief Johnson serves on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) and chairs the IACP Police Professional Standards, Ethics, and Image Committee. Previously Chief Johnson served as an elected Vice President for IACP, as chair of the IACP Human and Civil Rights Committee, and served on the IACP Financial Review Committee. He is a lifetime member of the Major Cities Chiefs Association and served as an executive board member from 2019 to 2020. Chief Johnson currently serves on executive boards for the Texas Police Chiefs Association and the Alliance for Children in Tarrant County, Texas.

Chief Johnson serves as a subject matter expert for the Department of Justice and is an executive fellow for the Police Executive Research Forum. He is credited with developing the first national best practices for the use of conducted energy weapons in policing. Chief Johnson is a past recipient of the Police Executive Research Forum Gary P. Hayes Leadership Award, the Ethical Leadership Award from the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration, and the Civil Rights Award from the IACP.  

Chief Johnson holds a master's degree from Texas Christian University and a bachelor's degree from Texas Tech University. He graduated from the FBI National Academy 245th Session, where he was honored to serve as the session president. He is also a graduate of the 35th session of the Senior Management Institute for Police, the 40th FBI National Executive Institute, and the Texas Law Enforcement Management Institute's 45th Leadership Command College. 

Candidate Statement

My name is Will Johnson. I am the Chief Special Agent with BNSF Railway Police Department. Before that appointment, I served as the Police Chief in Arlington, Texas. I respectfully ask for your support at this pivotal time in our profession.  

With the ongoing challenges that police face, I am committed to being your voice and carrying innovative ideas that enhance public trust, promote officer wellness, and strengthen our agencies and the communities we serve. All of us join this profession to make a positive difference. To that end, I will work hard to represent our collective voice on national and international issues that affect policing. 

My campaign platform is based on four major areas of interest – Relational policing, officer wellness, communication, and providing voice for victims. As agencies continue to look for ways to bolster trust and legitimacy, focusing on opportunities to enhance community relationships during law enforcement contacts is vital. I will advocate with my colleagues to create programs and training that enhance service delivery through relational policing concepts, regardless of agency size or location.  

Officer wellness is much more than fitness for duty. It's about resiliency and ensuring we take care of our people. From financial literacy, annual health screenings, stress management, peer support programs, and removing the stigma associated with mental health and acknowledging it's okay to not be okay. Through this, our employees will be better served, which in turn increases police service delivery throughout the community.  

Communication is one of the most essential elements for our profession and the IACP organization. Efforts to continue to maximize reach and connectivity with our members will be of paramount importance moving forward. The IACP needs to harness its resources and position the organization to benefit all its member agencies mutually; small agencies of less than 50 members represent more than 80% of law enforcement agencies in the United States.  

Voices and experiences of victims in our responses, investigations, and follow-up through the criminal justice system should be a priority for our communities. By having an excellent approach to how we treat victims, they will be able to recover from the trauma following a crime and feel supported and valued by their policing services and through the investigative process. Our goal should include restoring crime victims' sense of security and control over their lives.  

I will use these platforms to assist organizations represented by the IACP to build a better and stronger profession. Together, we can work towards making a real difference in the communities we serve.  

Throughout nearly three decades of public service spanning over 28 years, I have obtained a broad network of friends and colleagues across the U.S. and in the international policing community. At BNSF, we have special agents serving across 28 western U.S. states and three Canadian provinces. As a trusted voice in law enforcement, I will represent all voices across our country, both small, mid-size, and large urban agencies. 

We need your help to accomplish great things. I humbly seek your support during the 2023 IACP Annual Conference in San Diego. While many of you attend this conference in person, there is also a virtual option for you to attend the conference and express your support by voting. I have published numerous articles and have testified before the U.S. Congress on responding to and investigating hate crimes. All done in an effort to help our profession achieve the best version of itself possible. But there is still more to do. You can connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter to learn more about our vision and have your voice heard in this important election. Again, I would be grateful for your support and humbly ask for your vote at the IACP conference in San Diego, California. See you in October! 

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