Chief Thomas A. Johnson Jr. took the oath Feb. 13.

The Dover Police Department swore in it's 15th police chief during a ceremony the evening of Feb. 13 in the Chief James L. Hutchison Public Assembly Room at the department.

Chief Thomas A. Johnson Jr. took the Oath of Office with Mayor Robin R. Christiansen. His wife, Janice Johnson, held the same Bible that has been used to swear in each officer throughout the Dover Police Department’s 95-year history.

After taking the Oath of Office, Chief Johnson received a standing ovation from the crowd that gathered to recognize the historical occasion. Chief Johnson is only the second police chief in department history to be hired from outside the ranks of the department, with the last being James E. Turner Sr., a Major with the Delaware State Police, who held the position for over 18 years.

Chief Johnson thanked many in his speech, including his family, friends, and colleagues from the Upper Darby Police Department for helping him reach this milestone in his career of public service.

“This is an incredible moment in my life,” Johnson said. “The list of folks that I need to say ‘thank you’ to is impossible for me to accomplish in just one moment at one podium. Someone who has been in my position said, ‘Take a moment to try and make eye contact with everybody because there’s only one of these and you’ve got to try to absorb it.’ I wish you could see what I see right now, because I see quality, I see service, I see dedication, I see commitment, I see family, I see all the things that anybody with any common sense would want to be around."

Chief Johnson later commented on what members of the Dover Police Department can expect during his tenure as Chief of Police.

“Some folks are kind of curious what they can expect. The short answer that I can give you is you can expect my very best. I will be one-hundred percent focused on taking what I already know is an incredible organization and trying to figure out a way to make it even better. The bar has been set high. I will lead. I will make decisions. But everybody that comes into contact with me will know a couple of things: that there will always be honor around everything that I do and everything that we do, there will always be just actions and just decisions, there will be fairness and there will be a positive, forward-looking culture to be a part of if you choose to walk through those doors of the Dover Police Department and jump on board.”