Breckenridge Texan

Breckenridge City Commission authorizes Northrop to negotiate hiring Blake Johnson as police chief

Breckenridge City Commission authorizes Northrop to negotiate hiring Blake Johnson as police chief
March 26
21:22 2024

By Carla McKeown/Breckenridge Texan

The City of Breckenridge could have a new police chief soon, after the City Commission voted at a special meeting this evening, Tuesday, March 26, to authorize City Manager Cynthia Northrop to negotiate the hiring of Blake Johnson for the position.

Northrop said she won’t know when Johnson can start to work here until after she’s talked with him. Additionally, she said, the City hired a private investigator to do a detailed background on police chief candidates, and she’s waiting on a report from him. Johnson previously worked in Bexar County and the Clifton area, Northrop said.

According to Johnson’s work history, submitted with his letter of intent to be considered for the Breckenridge Chief of Police position and shared with the Breckenridge Texan by the City of Breckenridge, he served as the Chief of Police in the community of Meridian in Bosque County from July 2021 until June 2023.

“In my term as Chief the city saw a rise in criminal enforcement actions that resulted in multiple felony search warrants for methamphetamines, psychotropic control substances and the most traffic enforcement events in recorded city history … My greatest passion was the efforts made in the Mental Health services for the people of Bosque County,” he wrote about the Meridian job.

Johnson has an associate of applied science degree in criminal justice from San Antonio College and is a Master Peace Officer. His list of certifications and proficiencies includes advanced crash reconstruction, crime prevention specialist, field training officer and crisis negotiator.

His previous work included Patrol Supervisor for the Leon Valley Police Department, February 2017 to July 2021; Patrol Sergeant for the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office, August 1993 to January 2017; Deputy Constable for the Bexar County Constables Precinct 1, August 1991 to August 1993; and part-time dispatcher for the City of Alamo Heights, December 1990 to December 1992. Additionally, he was an event supervisor for Spurs Sports and Entertainment from August 1999 to July 2015.

“I have been blessed to spend most of my career serving the community from the front line,” Johnson wrote in the conclusion to his letter of intent. “After 32 years I have the training, experience, and judgment needed as a police administrator. I have the experiences that come from a large agency and served in a smaller community with municipal government. With the first 30 years of my career working in the large community I have now served in the smaller, rural community. I am a progressive problem-solving supervisor who can adept my ideals to match the needs of the community I serve. I subscribe to a ‘broken window’ philosophy of policing. Quality of life and a pride in the community from the residents will foster a positive relation with the department.”

The City of Breckenridge has been working on hiring a new police chief since the end of last year when former police chief Bacel Cantrell announced his resignation. Cantrell’s last day in the position was Feb. 1. Tommy Williams has been serving as the interim police chief through the City’s contract with Strategic Government Resources.

The search for a permanent police chief has been handled in-house by the City. A committee was appointed to oversee the search and includes Mayor Bob Sims, City Commissioner Gary Mercer, City Manager Cynthia Northrop, Stephens County Sheriff Kevin Roach and Eric Debus, the police chief in the Rhome, the city where Northrop previously worked.

Last month, following a request by a citizen, the City researched and held a public hearing on the topic of combining the Breckenridge Police Department with the Stephens County Sheriff’s Office. After listening to a report by Northrop, as well as comments by several members of the community, the commissioners voted unanimously to continue maintaining the City’s own law enforcement agency and to proceed with the search for a new police chief. For more information on that topic, read the following Breckenridge Texan articles:

City Commission votes to continue with separate police, sheriff departments

City of Breckenridge looks into combining police, sheriff services with Stephens County; public meeting set for Feb. 22


Cutline, top photo: The Breckenridge City Commission voted unanimously to authorize City Manager Cynthia Northrop to negotiate the hiring of Blake Johnson as the city’s new police chief. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)


Editor’s Note: This article was updated at about 11:50 a.m. March 28, 2024, to include information from Blake Johnson’s Letter of Intent to the City of Breckenridge, including his work history and education.


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