In Memory of Detective Sergeant TeJuan Johnson
Indiana Officer Dies from COVID19 Complications
On December 2, 2020, Charlestown Police in Clark County, Indiana, announced with their social media the loss of one of their officers to complications arising from contracting COVID19. Detective Sergeant TeJuan Johnson, age 47, was known to those around him as “T.J.” Chief Tim Wolfe has stated they are unsure of where he picked up the virus through his job or training programs.
Johnson had served his community as a law enforcement officer for more than 13 years. He worked with the Charlestown Police Department. During his time with the department men, he functioned as a field training officer, a police bike patrol officer, a narcotics detective, and shift commander.
Charlestown Mayor Treva Hodges spoke of the giving spirit of Johnson. She described a vibrant man full of life and a friend to everyone in the community. Hodges enjoyed Johnson’s work with young children and was an active participant in the Shop With a Cop program. Detective Johnson was known to always have a smile on his face.
Charlestown Police Department
Det. Sgt. Johnson gave 13 years to the Charlestown Police Department. He gave back to his community of Charlestown, Indiana. Charlestown was established in 1808. The name came from one of the men who surveyed out the land, Charles Beggs. It was 300 acres plotted out of which 3 acres were designated for the town square. From 1811 to 1878, Charlestown held the title of the county seat. This was changed in 1878 when Jeffersonville’s neighboring town surpassed it in size, population, and economy.
The Charlestown Police Department kept pace with the town’s growth. Today the officers are responsible for patrolling an area of 11.49 square miles. They protect more than 8,500 residents, which is down from the 13,400 residents of the 1940s. The rise in population was due to the building and operation of the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant or IAAP. The area is filled with charm and beauty, a cross between northern culture and southern hospitality. The CPD Officers use community policing policies to stay in tune with residents and provide a quality department.
Family and Community Grieve Together
In Charlestown, this is the second line of duty death for a small-town police department within two years. The family and community are stunned and saddened at the loss. They came together on the city’s streets holding signs in support and honoring Johnson and his family. The escort to the funeral home had many members coming forward to show their respects. (Weiter & Cohen, 2020)
Mayor Treva Hodges spoke of grief and the example to others of the dangers of the pandemic. “I grieve with the family. I grieve with the police department. Johnson’s death is a painful reminder of a pandemic that continues to rage. T.J. had no underlying health conditions. He was fit. He was only 47 years old. Wear your mask, practice safe social distancing, and please, take this COVID virus seriously.”
Chief Tim Wolff spoke highly of Johnson. “He was one of the best detectives I’ve known. He’s going to be irreplaceable. We definitely want people to take COVID-19 seriously and remember Sgt. Johnson for the mischievous, fun-loving detective that he was.”
Friend and healthcare worker, Andrea Stuthers, spoke of the energy that Detective Johnson gave to everyone. “TJ was an amazing person, an amazing asset to the whole community. His smile. His warm, fun, kind, smile, he just always had that on no matter what.”