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I’m police officer Katie Johnson with the Town of Southold Police Department.
I’ve been a police officer for almost seven years total, three years here in the Town of Southold.
I mainly patrol in a vehicle. However, I’m also bicycle certified. I patrol the Mattituck sector and we enforce vehicle and traffic laws, such as school zones, seat belts, cell phones, speeding, as well as answering medical emergencies and criminal activity.
I work eight-hour shifts, changing weekly, from midnights to day tours to afternoon shifts.
Before Southold police, I was a public safety dispatcher with the Town of Southampton and then I was a university police officer at the SUNY/Farmingdale campus.
I have a bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and I thought I was going to pursue a computer career. But I didn’t want to sit behind a desk every day and I just wanted my every day to be different. I saw how people looked at police officers and the utmost respect that people give police officers and I just always wanted to be a part of that.
I believe that safety is of utmost importance to policing. I feel that every day, our main goal and focus is to go home at night with our families.
There are many highs and lows to this job, but you just have to remember, the community isn’t calling you just to say, ‘have a nice day.’ They’re calling you because they have a serious problem and they do need your help. Every call is different and every call that I’m on, I’m always learning something new.
“The Work We Do” is a Suffolk Times multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. Read it first and see more photos every Monday on Instagram @thesuffolktimes.