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Johnson Inducted into Law Enforcement Hall of Fame

June 25, 2009
Ernie Johnson

Ernie Johnson, lecturer of criminal justice at the University of Wyoming/Casper College (UW/CC) Center, was inducted into the Law Enforcement Hall of Fame at a recent ceremony in Cheyenne.

Honored by the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police for a lifetime of achievement, his name is now engraved on a plaque displayed in the Capitol rotunda, along with other law enforcement leaders.

"I don't do these things for honors or rewards," said Johnson. "To be recognized by my peers is very humbling."

Since the beginning of Johnson's career on the force, where he spent nearly 10 years as an officer in Casper, his work has branched into several arms of the law enforcement field. He set officer training standards as the executive director of the Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission; and as a private contractor, he has researched, managed and supported numerous programs such as the national initiative to reduce gun violence Project Safe Neighborhoods, the Wyoming first lady's Initiative to Reduce Childhood Drinking, and annual reporting on the collection of driving under the influence data for the Wyoming Association of Sheriffs and Chiefs of Police.

The work for which he is most recognized is the 24 years he served as director of the Wyoming Law Enforcement Academy in Douglas. Johnson assumed this role in 1978 and built a facility that quickly grew to a national leader in peace officer training. A live-in academy for training of all Wyoming officers, the facility includes workout rooms, lecture halls, meeting rooms, a crime lab, dormitories, a cafeteria and living quarters. Johnson increased the basic training program from five weeks to the current 12 weeks of intensive instruction.

He revolutionized the standards for examinations, demanding that students pass every instruction block rather than graduate on an average score from all rotations. His training guidelines required students to earn 100 percent on both the written exam and the proficiency test for the use of deadly force training.

Posted on Thursday, June 25, 2009

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