‘It’s kind of like putting a puzzle together’

Published 12:01 pm Monday, May 20, 2013

Pike County Sheriffs Office Detective Troy Johnson poses for a photo in Troy, Ala., Wednesday, May 15, 2013. (Photo/Thomas Graning)

Pike County Sheriffs Office Detective Troy Johnson poses for a photo in Troy, Ala., Wednesday, May 15, 2013. (Photo/Thomas Graning)

Investigator Troy Johnson reflects on his time as a law enforcement officer

Pike County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Troy Johnson said it was “by accident” that he became a law enforcement officer.

Johnson has been with the department for 17 years, but he started out as a private ambulance service EMT and a corrections officer at the Pike County Jail.

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“I was burning the candle a little bit at both ends,” Johnson said. “Then the sheriff came to me one day and asked if I wanted to be a deputy.”

Johnson didn’t have to think about his answer.

“I just felt that was what I wanted to do,” Johnson said. “As a kid, you play cops and robbers and I don’t think that goes away.”

Johnson worked patrol for 10 years and moved into investigations in 2007.

“You have easy days and you have hard days,” Johnson said. “And we have some pretty hard days.”

And while it’s the department he works in that solves cases, Johnson said its teamwork that makes that possible.

“It’s kind of like putting a puzzle together. We do a lot of the talking and solving,” Johnson explained. “But it’s the information that the officers on the street get that leads us down the path to solving a crime.”

While there are thefts and assaults and other crime, it’s crimes against children that are the hardest for Johnson.

“That really gets under my skin and I think about those poor kids all the time,” Johnson said.

And even though he’s been on the job almost two decades, there’s still learning to be done.

“I enjoy the educational part of my job, too. It’s interesting to learn new things and new techniques to help solve crimes,” Johnson said. “Cell phone forensics, photography evidence – technology is changing and it makes evidence so much more clear.”

Not only does Johnson look out for Pike County residents on the job, he’s also got a protective spirit on the home front. Johnson and his wife, Marla, have two children, Colton, 14 and Logan, 11. Their daughter E.B. passed away when she was 4, but she is still a big part of the family.

“I do worry about them,” Johnson said. “But I’ve taught them how to be safe and smart and that goes a long way.”

Johnson has less than 10 years before he can retire, but he said he likes working for the Sheriff’s Department and plans to be there beyond that time.

“I’ve got nine more years to go, but I still see myself there at least 10 or 12 years down the road. It’s a good job and I enjoy it a lot.”