Thomas A. Johnson, Jr. joined the Upper Darby Police Department as a Patrol Officer in May of 1996. He advanced to Criminal Investigator and then Sergeant in the Detective Division for the five years leading into his promotion to Lieutenant in 2007. After five years supervising a uniform patrol platoon, Johnson earned promotion to Captain and assignment to the Administration Division in 2012. In that role, he was responsible for the administrative functions of the department such as the vehicle fleet, the uniform crime report, the security of assets, all civilian staff, community affairs and a 30 million dollar budget. Additional responsibilities include the Naloxone/Addiction Recovery initiative, the Highway Patrol, and the Crash Reconstruction Unit. He has also played a key leadership role in the Anti-Graffiti Task Force and the DUI Enforcement Task Force.
In 2018, he was placed in command of the Division of Training and Professional Standards. In this role, he handled training, education, much of the hiring process and internal affairs. Captain Johnson is the chief hostage and crisis negotiator and has extensive experience in fire investigations and cases involving special victims. Captain Johnson designed the curriculum for several continuing education programs that include topics of response to high profile incidents and surviving hostage situations. The most recent effort is the “Active Shooter Hostile Event Rescue Task Force” program for the PA Department of Health. He has handled many high profile police matters in his career including one homicide investigation that was featured on an episode of America’s Most Wanted. By the end of 2019, Captain Johnson returned to the Detective Division as the commanding officer and now leads a team of 20 skilled investigators.
Captain Johnson is cross trained as a Firefighter and Paramedic. Johnson is a 35 year volunteer with the East Lansdowne Fire Department where he has served in various positions including Board Chairman, Deputy Chief and two separate tenures as Fire Chief. He became an EMT in 1986 and then a Paramedic in 1989 before serving as a pre-hospital provider for several hospital-based medic programs in Delaware County. In 1993, Captain Johnson was responsible for introducing the first pre-hospital 12-Lead EKG program in the Delco region. He was also involved in the development of the first Tactical Paramedic program in southeastern Pennsylvania, a program designed to provide medical support to SWAT teams.
Captain Johnson has an undergraduate degree in Emergency Management and Planning from Delaware County Community College and a Bachelor’s degree in Public Safety Administration from Neumann University. His Master’s is in Law Enforcement & Public Safety Leadership from the University of San Diego. He is a graduate of Penn State University’s Police Executive Development program, the FBI Inter-County Detective School, the National Fire Academy Fire/Arson program and, most recently, the Northwestern University School of Police Staff and Command.
Over the course of his career, Captain Johnson has received more than 25 department commendations. He is a two time recipient of the Mayor’s Service Award and was recognized by the Upper Darby Marine Corps League as their 2001 Officer of the Year. The Delaware County Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving has twice recognized Captain Johnson as a top DUI enforcer. He served on the Township Comprehensive Plan Committee and is still on the advisory board of the Delaware County Community College paramedic program. A major focus of Captain Johnson’s future work will be to continue to improve the relationship between Police, Fire and EMS agencies through training and professional development.