NEWBERRY — Todd Johnson was named the chief deputy sheriff for Newberry County on Tuesday by Sheriff Lee Foster.
“This is like a dream come to for me,” Johnson said. “I believe God called me to be a law enforcement officer just as much as he has called me to be a pastor. I have the utmost respect for Sheriff Foster and for retiring Chief Deputy Jerry Wright. They have been role models of effective leadership and I sincerely pray that I might be able to follow in their footsteps in this new position.”
Wright retired after 24 years in that position and after more than 35 years in law enforcement. Johnson is a lifelong resident of Newberry County, having been born and reared in the Whitmire area.
“Todd has many years of law enforcement and real world experience, which will be a great asset to this office and to the people of Newberry County,” Foster said. “We are extremely proud and excited to have Chief Johnson in this position. I think he will excel in his position and be a great asset to Newberry County.”
Johnson, a graduate of Whitmire High School, joined the Newberry County Sheriff’s Office in 1994 after serving five years with the Whitmire Police Department. He advanced through the ranks from deputy to major, and now chief deputy. Johnson has a bachelor’s degree in Biblical studies and is pursuing a combined master’s/doctorate degree in Biblical counseling.
Foster said Johnson has been instrumental in the design and development of several programs critical to the safety of Newberry County residents. He has been the program leader in the county’s school safety program. In addition to the school resource officers, Johnson has worked on a training course for all officers in the response to an active shooting incident tailored for a small rural agency. This program was designed and implemented in Newberry County long before it was the norm and has been highlighted and used by many small and rural agencies across the country.
In addition to his law enforcement career, Johnson is the pastor at The Master’s Baptist Church of Whitmire.
“Todd has done an amazing job growing this church. His ecumenical experience will help him in his new position,” Foster said.
Johnson also was recently awarded the Strom Thurmond Excellence in Law Enforcement Award. He is also a well-respected high school football official, having worked state championship games, the North South All Star Game and the Shrine Bowl. He is also active in youth sports throughout the county and region.
Johnson and his wife Kerry are the parents of Joshua, a student at Winthrop University; Kaitlyn, a student at Whitmire Community School; and Andrew, a student at Newberry Middle School.