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Dana Johnson

Police Officer
Virginia, USA

How long have you been a police officer and what type of police officer are you?

I have been a police officer for 20 years, 4 months and 25 days as of January 25, 2002.

What is a typical work week like for you?

I am currently assigned as a School Resource Officer/DARE instructor at Landstown Middle School in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  There are 1,645 students.

What do your children and wife think of your job?  Do they worry about you when you go to work?

My two sons and wife think I do my job safely and by the book.  If they worry about me when I go to work they really do not say anything.  I do make sure I tell them that I love them before I go to work everyday.

What were your favorite subjects in school?  Which subjects helped you the most towards becoming a police officer?

Hmmm, that's a tough one.  I would say band was my favorite.  I began playing Baritone horn in 6th grade.  It looks like a mini Tuba.  I played in concert band and marching band.  In high school we performed football half-time shows at home and away games.  We also performed at half-time for the Buffalo Bills football team, as well as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats Canadian football team.  I forgot to mention I grew up in Jamestown, N.Y.  If you look at your map of New York State you will find it in the southwestern part of the state.  My best memory was going to All State band and represent my high school.

The one thing that helped me become a police officer was serving four years in the U.S. Navy.  The discipline of the military actually helped prepare me for the police academy.  I feel that all young people should serve in the military if they do not go to college.

Did you always want to grow up to be a police officer?  Does police work run in your family?  Did you ever want to be anything else?

I kind of fell into police work, before getting out of the Navy I took hard entrance exams and qualified.  Police work does run in our family.  My father was a firefighter.  My older brother was a police officer back home.  They are both retired now.  My twin brother served with the LAPD.  After being in this line of work for so long, I do not think I would do anything else if I had to do it all over again.

Would you like your children to follow in your footsteps?  What advice do you have for people who want to enter your field?

I would feel proud if my two sons followed in my footsteps.  I want them to succeed in their life, and be happy.  It will be their decision.  For other people I strongly urge them to go into the military to be taught the discipline that a police academy cannot always teach.  College courses can be taken as they serve.  Law Enforcement is a demanding job, you will earn everything you get into.

What do you like most about your job?  What do you like least?

I work in a middle school with 6, 7 and 8th graders. It gives me an opportunity to hopefully keep kids from going down the wrong road of life.  I help coach on the football and soccer teams.  I work the street in a police cruiser during breaks.

What I do not like about my job is when people try to tell me what to do, when they themselves have no idea what I do.  One of the hardest things is going to incidents where kids get hurt.

What do you like to do on your time off?

I still play baritone horn in a local concert band.  I have coached youth soccer for 10 years.  I sometimes drive limousines on weekends.  I love to ride my Honda Gold Wing motorcycle.  It's green and has everything on it.  Hopefully you can see the pictures I sent along with me and a police car.  I help with my sons high school band as a band parent.  I volunteer as a peer support member helping people who have suffered a bad incident.  I also serve as a peer member with the police department.  In the summertime I like to go to the beach and watch my sons surf.

Do you have any pets?

Yes, we have a seven year old female German Shepherd who was abused.  We have given her a very nice home to live in.  Her name is Maggie.  She is very friendly to everyone.

Have you ever traveled to other countries?  What type of places have you lived in?

I have been to Canada many times and to Mexico.  I grew up in a small town where everyone knows everyone.  I really do not care for big cities.  When I got out of the Navy, I was stationed in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  It's a great area, has very nice weather year round and I can always go to beach.  I love living by the ocean.

Do you have a special quote that inspires you?

"You don't know... unless you ask "

Do you have any thoughts to share with children and people around the world?

It would be nice if everyone could get along and help one another.  Violence does not accomplish anything.

I am glad I could answer your questions.  If you have more, please send them to Imagiverse - Ask The Expert and I'll do my best to answer them.

Photos | Q&A

- 25 January 2002


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Last Updated:
25 March 2002

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