Jim Johnson Sworn In as Interim Huntington Police Chief

By: WSAZ News Staff Email
By: WSAZ News Staff Email

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A new police chief has been sworn-in in the City of Huntington.

Monday afternoon, in front of friends, family and former coworkers, Jim Johnson was sworn-in to the position by Judge Paul Farrell.

Mayor Steve Williams chose Johnson as the interim replacement as they search for a new chief, following the resignation of Skip Holbrook.

Monday was Holbrook's last day as chief in Huntington. Last month, he accepted the chief position in Columbia, South Carolina.

A committee of community leaders has been named to choose a permanent replacement for Holbrook.

In the meantime, Johnson, who served with Huntington Police for 29 years before retiring in 2001, says, "At this point, I think it's more important the questions that I ask, rather than the answers that I have."

Johnson says although it has been a decade since he has been in law enforcement, and things have changed, like the prevalence of guns, and violence in society, as well as the change in technology, it all "comes back to getting bad guys off the streets."

He says that he was in communication nearly daily with Skip Holbrook throughout the seven years he was chief.

When asked if he was excited or scared today, he answered, "both," and said that he decided to accept the interim position immediately. Johnson says that he spoke with his wife and they prayed before accepting the position.

Johnson has served as the City of Huntington's Constituent Services Liaison in the Mayor's Office for the past five years. He says the mayor will split up his responsibilities while he is filling in as chief, and he will return to his position once a permanent chief is chosen.

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