Arlington Police Chief Will Johnson on April 27 announced his plan to retire from the department effective June 2020, culminating a nearly 26-year career, 23-years of service with the city of Arlington.
Johnson joined Arlington in 1997 and quickly rose through the ranks before being named interim police chief in 2012. City Manager Trey Yelverton appointed Johnson as police chief in 2013, leading the police department for the 48th largest city in the United States.
“I am honored to have served as police chief for this great department for so many years,” said Johnson. “No one can truly be effective without community support, effective political leadership, and a dedicated workforce. I was grateful to experience all three, and by working together, we have made our community better.”
Under the leadership of Johnson, the department has earned a national reputation as a premier law enforcement agency in promoting community policing, procedural justice, and protecting the civil rights of all persons. Johnson served as the chair of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) Human and Civil Rights Committee from 2015-2018 and was elected as the Vice President at Large for the IACP in 2018, a position he still holds. Johnson also currently serves as an executive board member for the Major Cities Chiefs Association (MCCA).
The department is a pioneer in innovative policing and was selected as one of 15 agencies nationwide as an exemplary implementation model for the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing.
The Arlington Police Department was awarded 1st place in National Night Out Campaign in 2018. The department maintains the Tri-Arc Award from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement (CALEA) Gold Ribbon with Excellence for public safety agencies. The department has also received numerous national awards from IACP, MCCA, and Department of Justice related to best practices, upholding civil rights, neighborhood engagement, mental health, employee wellness, and hate crimes investigation.
A retirement ceremony will be announced at a future time.