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The Johnston Police Department will be adding a Community Affairs Officer (CAO) position to their department in January. This new position will act as a catalyst in bringing neighborhoods together, creating stewardship among residents by embodying the collaborative spirit of community policing and focusing primarily on crime prevention, community outreach and education initiatives.
“As a City, we have done an excellent job of recognizing the importance of community policing to strengthen public trust and foster stronger relationships between local law enforcement and our stakeholders,” said Police Chief Dennis McDaniel. “This new position will act as the coordinator and ambassador to those efforts and aid patrol officers and investigators in dedicating the time necessary to effectively follow-up on case referrals. The end goal is to successfully implement crime reduction strategies, community outreach initiatives and educational programming.”
In January, Officer Zach Grandon will begin his new role as the Community Affairs Officer for the Johnston Police Department. “Officer Grandon is a talented communicator with an exceptional ability to recognize the community’s needs and opportunities. His skill set made him the perfect fit for this position,” said Chief McDaniel.
Officer Grandon has been a member of the Johnston Police Department since 2007. During his time, he has worked as a Patrol Officer, Crime Scene Investigator, and most recently School Resource Officer (SRO). He also serves as one of the department’s ALICE instructors.
Being an SRO has allowed Officer Grandon to cultivate relationships with students and the Johnston community. “I will definitely miss the great people I have had the opportunity to work with in the Johnston Community School District and the daily interactions with the students,” said Officer Grandon. “Being able to be a part of their lives, while influencing and helping shape their future is a unique and rare opportunity. I am glad I got to be a part of an invaluable partnership and make a difference.”
As a member of the Police Department, Officer Grandon looks forward to focusing on public outreach, cultivating interactions with the community and implementing new programs. These new initiatives will consist of coordinated interactions with elementary schools through the department’s Adopt-A-School program, focused efforts on being a resource to seniors or those in need of mental health assistance, and educating the greater Johnston business and religious communities on tools available to ensure safety. The Community Affairs Officer will also coordinate the police department’s, crime free multi-housing program and working hand-in-hand with Community Education, the Johnston Partnership and work to develop a 21st Century approach to neighborhood watch. “This new position will allow me to collaborate with a very diverse section of the Johnston community on a variety of topics,” said Grandon.