In previous years, I have reported the police chiefs around the country that have humbly served on various holidays and one of our favorite stories has been Arlington police Chief Will Johnson who routinely works Christmas while giving a lucky officer the day off with their family.
Chief Johnson was back at it this year, working for Officer William Bill this Wednesday. Bill told WFAA, “I can’t be more thankful and grateful that he has chosen to work my shift and allow me to spend time with my family who I wouldn’t get to see for more than a few hours today.”
Johnson, who in 2017 chose an officer after asking for ideas on community service, said he chose Bill for his consistency, compassion and crime-fighting skills.
“One of the things that Officer Bill did that really resonated with me is that he’s a mentor for the mentoring Arlington youth program, the MAY program,” Johnson said. “Without fanfare, without media attention, without stories, just out serving nobly, honorably and really just out helping people.”
On Christmas, Chief Johnson worked from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. as a way to say thank you.
I often speak about Chief Johnson’s efforts in our Courageous Leadership Seminar and Cambridge (MA) Police Commissioner Branville Bard is also commended for he and his command staff working for their veterans on Veteran’s Day and this Christmas, I am pleased to see this great tradition continuing.
This Christmas, we can add West Windsor (NJ) Chief Garofalo to the list. According to Lt. Lee, who posted this on their facebook page, “We know how humble Chief Garofalo is and how much he cares about our family at WWPD. So we are taking the liberty of sharing (without his authorization) a photo of the Chief at 5 am “covering” for one of our patrol officers so the Officer could be home for Christmas morning with his children. Thank you Chief and Merry Christmas to all!!”
I know there are many more leaders like the ones we have mentioned and I know it takes much more than working a holiday to be a true leader but after 27 years in law enforcement, I know this…..If a leader does not dot lead in the small tasks, they will never accomplish greatness and if these acts of kindness and humility are an indication, law enforcement is headed in the right direction.