By Jessica Mize
Jeremy Johnston has a tough job.
As a training officer within the UH Police Department, Johnston has the responsibility of teaching members of the campus community how to effectively react and respond during a variety of situations and times of crises, including active shooter situations. A 1999 graduate of the College of the Mainland Police Academy, Johnston got his start with UHPD in 2000 as a patrol officer. It took him just four short years to move into his current role and he hasn’t looked back since.
“Whether I’m helping someone learn something new or just showing them a different way to approach a situation, I love being able to teach people,” he said. “I really enjoy training.”
Armed with nearly a dozen special certifications and professional licenses, Johnston isn’t authorized to educate just the average citizen, but also his fellow officers and first responders. His courses cover a wide variety of topics ranging from self-defense tactics to appropriate firearm handling.
This year alone, he estimates he’s conducted over 100 classes for UHPD, as well as faculty, staff and student groups, so he definitely has no problems staying busy.
A native Texan born in Pasadena, Johnston has such a palpable passion for what he does, it’s hard to believe he started out pursuing a completely different career path.
After graduating from Clear Brook High School, he began doing offshore work as a slick line operator for Halliburton; however, the instability of the oil industry made him reconsider his choice and he’s glad he did.
While his professional life has taken him a lot of places, it’s in his personal life that Johnston finds the most pride.
“Three and a half years ago, my wife and I adopted our son,” he said. “That was the hardest thing I have ever gone through, but it’s also the proudest.”
When he’s not hard at work, Johnston likes to spend his time fishing, gardening, enjoying the outdoors with his family and cooking. He even has a favorite dish to prepare.
“My specialty is seared deer tenderloin with a blue cheese horseradish butter and blue corn cheese grits,” he said.