Farewell to San Juan County Undersheriff | Editorial

We want to thank San Juan County Undersheriff Brent Johnson for 50 years of service.

As a police officer in New Mexico and later as a detective and then undersheriff in San Juan County, Johnson has had a profound effect on our community. We applaud Johnson’s efforts to make it easier to collect evidence and arrest perpetrators of domestic violence.

While working in New Mexico, he helped change laws to ensure police could handle domestic cases more efficiently by studying the number of calls coming in and tracking the repeat offenders. He called this legal alteration one his proudest moments.

On San Juan Island, Johnson served on the board of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services, now known as SAFE San Juans, once again showing his commitment to better serving the community.

Domestic violence and sexual assault are often viewed as shadows that dwell in the dark underbelly of our idyllic islands, but for officers like Johnson, they can’t ignore these disturbing crimes.

We salute men like Johnson who take an active role in these illegal acts that have to be approached with compassion and intellect in order to make positive change a reality.

We also commend Sheriff Ron Krebs who has said that he is committed to better training his officers to deal with domestic violence and sexual assault.

It takes law enforcement officers who are sensitive, thorough and resilient to make long-lasting changes – especially in a small town.

Johnson has been a fine example of that, and he will be missed. We wish him the best of luck in his retirement and hope he enjoys some well-deserved time off.