Sgt. Steve Johnson has retired from the Marana Police Department after a 26-year career, but he isn’t stopping working.
The Memphis native will begin a stint as the Marana Unified School District safety security coordinator on Oct. 3.
After the tragic May 24 shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, that left 19 children and two adults dead, Johnson began talking with the school district. The safety security coordinator job opened, he applied and was hired.
One reason he took the new job is because he and his wife Teresa’s grandchildren attend school in the district (the couple has three children). And it’s an opportunity to continue to use his law enforcement knowledge.
Johnson joined the Marana Police Department after serving 20 years in the Air Force as a law enforcement officer. During his Air Force career, he served in Guam, England, Egypt and Germany. While serving in the Air Force in Tucson he also worked for a time for the Pima County Sheriff’s Office.
He became a sergeant with the Marana Police Department in 1999. During his career he received a number of awards:
The 2005 Sons of the American Revolution Outstanding Officer of the Year award.
Chief’s Medal of Merit.
Chief’s Citation of Excellence.
The department’s Distinguished Service Medal.
Johnson became the department’s emergency management/Homeland Security coordinator. He also supervised the internal affairs unit, crime scene unit and training unit.
As emergency management/Homeland Security coordinator, Johnson wrote several grants that led to more than $200,000 in funding and equipment for the department, including computers, radios and personal protection for officers.
Johnson said he enjoyed working with the diverse group of people in the department. “You’re all working for the same goal,” he said.
Marana Police Department over the years, Johnson said, has established a good reputation with the town’s residents. “It’s been a work in progress,” he said. “We have built a reputation in our community where they like us. That’s a testament to the people in the department.”
What were his proudest moments working as a Marana police officer?
Accomplishing the security funding grants after 9/11 and working with other officers, Johnson said.
Working with other officers out on the street, he said, “You don’t realize how smart and how motivated the officers really are and how they care about the community.”
The town of Marana was incorporated in 1977 and has seen many changes and rapid growth.
“Over 26 years to watch the town grow and mature ..., it’s been very eye opening,” Johnson said.