Officer Sean Johnson Hilliard Division of Police, Ohio End of Watch: Thursday, May 19, 2016

Officer Sean Johnson |  Hilliard Division of Police, Ohio13000291_964448466944489_3617561

 

Officer Sean Johnson

Hilliard Division of Police, Ohio
End of Watch: Thursday, May 19, 2016

Biographical Info

Age:
Tour of Duty: 16 years
Badge Number: Not available

Incident Details

Cause of Death: Motorcycle accident
Date of Incident: May 19, 2016
Weapon Used: Not available
Suspect Info: Not available

Agency Contact Information

Chief of Police Robert A. Fisher
Hilliard Division of Police
5171 Northwest Parkway
Hilliard, OH 43026
Phone: (614) 876-2429

Officer Sean Johnson was killed in a motorcycle accident while taking part in a department motorcycle training program.
He had recently transferred from the Patrol Bureau to the Traffic Safety Unit. Officer Johnson and three other members of the unit were participating in a two-week-long training program with the motorcycles. As Officer Johnson traveled on the ramp from I-270 south to S.R. 161 east he was involved in a collision and died as a result of the injuries he sustained.
Officer Johnson served with the Hilliard Division of Police for 16 years and had previously served with the Ohio Investigative Unit, the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office, and the United States Air Force. He is survived by his mother and two children.

Hilliard Police Chief Robert Fisher fought to keep his composure as he spoke on Thursday of the death of one of his officers — the first to die in the line of duty since Hilliard police formed 56 years ago.
"Today is a very difficult day for the HPD family and our community," Fisher said, as he stood surrounded by other officers at Hilliard Police headquarters.
The officer they lost — Sean R. Johnson, 46 — was pronounced dead soon after crashing his Victory Stealth motorcycle at 1:44 p.m. on an Interstate 270 ramp to Route 161 in Blendon Township. It’s a huge cloverleaf interchange in the northeastern part of Franklin County.
On a sunny, comfortable spring day, Johnson died while he was on duty, on a joint training exercise with three fellow motorcycle officers of the Hilliard division’s fledgling traffic-safety unit. The unit, which started in April 2015, was in the middle of an intensive two-week training period.
The crash occurred on the Interstate 270 southbound ramp — known as a flyover ramp — which goes upward and curves before emptying onto eastbound Route 161. None of the other officers was involved.
"While he was on the exit ramp at some point in time, he lost control of his motorcycle," said Chief Deputy Jim Gilbert of the Franklin County sheriff’s office. Johnson was wearing a helmet and protective equipment, Gilbert said.
Gilbert said the crash remains under investigation by the sheriff’s office, and deputies need to talk further with witnesses.
Though the traffic safety unit of motorcycles was fairly new, Johnson was an experienced rider, Fisher said.
Upon learning of the tragedy, Fisher went to the crash scene and then accompanied the body to the Franklin County coroner’s office.
"Obviously, this is a situation that no police chief wants to deal with, to have happen to our family," Fisher said.
Fisher asked for the community’s support.
Johnson was a veteran officer with 16 years of experience working for the Hilliard Division of Police.
Before joining Hilliard Police, Johnson had served with the attorney general’s Ohio Investigative Unit and was a Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office deputy. He also served six years with the U.S. Air Force and is survived by two children, 14 and 11, and his mother.
He was an officer who won a lot of accolades for his work with the division, said Hilliard Officer Hyda Slone.
Slone said more details about Johnson’s career will be outlined at a later time. The sudden shock of his death clearly was overwhelming to the division.
The Hilliard Police Department was first organized in 1960 and has grown to 54 sworn officers. The city purchased four Victory motorcycles last April as it was forming the motorcycle unit, which Fisher said was formed to improve traffic enforcement.
Johnson’s death occurred during National Peace Officers Week, which is devoted to the memory of fallen officers. There were about 25 people gathered at the Columbus Police Officers’ Memorial on the Scioto River Thursday evening.  All of them had heard what had happened to the Hilliard police officer.
Bill Swank, a federal officer who organized National Peace Officers Week activities locally, said that he knows the Hilliard officers make up a tight-knit unit that sticks together.
Columbus Police Cmdr. Alex Behnen said that in his 25 years with Columbus police he has been through the deaths of 11 fellow officers — including the most recent death of SWAT Officer Steven M. Smith.
"It’s an incredibly overwhelming circumstance cause it’s unexpected," Behnen said.
Johnson is the third Ohio law-enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty so far this year.
Danville Police Officer Thomas Cottrell Jr. was ambushed and shot to death Jan. 17 in his Knox County village by a man who authorities have said went out that night looking to kill a police officer.
Smith died on April 12, two days after he was shot during an attempt to arrest a Clintonville man on a felony arson warrant. Smith was struck by a single handgun round as he rode in the turret of a SWAT armored vehicle on its approach to the suspect’s apartment.

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