The city of Birmingham has a new police chief, Patrick Smith, who is responsible for strategic and operational measures to battle crime. Backing him up with the community component is Brandon Johnson, the Director of the Office of Community Engagement. Mayor Randall Woodfin created the position so that Johnson would serve as the liaison between the city and the community.
Johnson is a new face from Chicago, IL charged with helping to reduce violence. He is not a household name, but he is an important hire to make households safer.
“We’re looking at functioning across the spectrum in key areas prevention, enforcement, and re-entry,” Johnson said. “So, we’re taking a public health approach to violence. This is not something that law enforcement can solve, so it’s all hands on deck.”
One of his first initiatives was to bring back the Citizens Police Academy.
“We are right now looking at different technologies, investigative techniques that we think will give us the ability to catch and convict shooters,” Johnson said.
Watch the video above to see my full backseat conversation with Brandon Johnson.