When Captain Steve Johnson retires Friday (March 31), he will not only leave behind a 37-year career at the Pensacola Police Department, but also become a part of world history.
For example, other world events that have occurred on March 31 were:
- The musical “Oklahoma!” debuted on Broadway in 1943.
- The first commercially built U.S. computer “The UNIVAC I” was sold in 1951.
- 100,000 people took to the streets in Poll Tax Demonstrations in England in 1990.
Locally, a young man named Steve Johnson was hired as a police officer by the Pensacola Police Department on September 11, 1980. He worked his way up through the ranks and become what he is today: Captain of the Criminal Investigations Division where he oversees Investigations, Crime Scene, Intelligence, Vice & Narcotics, and the COPS Unit.
Among his assignments at the Pensacola Police Department have been Uniform Patrol, TAC and Investigations. He was promoted to sergeant on February 6, 1989; to lieutenant on December 29, 1997; and to captain on April 10, 2006.
Johnson was working patrol on December 25, 1984 when three abortion clinics in Pensacola were firebombed. On July 29, 1994, when anti-abortion activist Paul Hill shot and killed a doctor and escort at The Ladies Center on Ninth Avenue, Johnson was the officer who put the handcuffs on Hill and also removed additional ammunition taped to Hill’s leg when he was taken into custody near the scene.
Johnson served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1973 – 1978, was a staff sergeant when he was honorably discharged and also had served as a Marine drill instructor. He was a Marine drill instructor and also trained Navy pilots at the Pensacola Naval Air Station from 1976-1978 before going to work as a police officer for the Department of Defense at the Pensacola Naval Air Station from 1978 – 1980.
A retirement reception for Capt. Johnson is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday, March 31, at police headquarters.