October 6, 2022 SPRING 2022

Collin Johnson ’04, ’08, ’23: Lieutenant in Charge of Transit Special Victims, NYPD

“Transit police officers are very good at what they do. They have a keen eye for suspicious activity,” assures Lieutenant Collin Johnson ’04, ’08, ’23. “You may not see them because sometimes they are in plain clothes, but trust me, they are there.”

 

“I started my career in the 40th precinct in the South Bronx. The experience brought me so much joy. I realized that being with the NYPD is what I’m meant to do.” —Collin Johnson ’04, ’08, ’23

 

As Lieutenant in Charge of Transit Special Victims, Johnson’s unit handles sex crime cases. “It’s a tough job because the victims go through very traumatic experiences. We get counselors involved to assist them,” explains Johnson. “We let them know they are safe with us and that we’re doing our best to catch the bad guys and put them away.”

Johnson had his eye on a criminal justice career as a kid. “Growing up in Jamaica, I knew I wanted to work in criminal justice. At first, I wanted to be a prosecutor. I was a big fan of Matlock,” he says with a laugh. “I just wanted to help people during their worst times.”

His dream evolved from prosecution to law enforcement. “I started my career in the 40th Precinct in the South Bronx. The experience brought me so much joy. I realized that being with the NYPD is what I’m meant to do.”

Johnson, a two-time alumnus and current NYPD Executive Master’s Program student, credits his John Jay classes for his ability to effectively engage with the public. “My whole John Jay experience, from my B.A. to my M.P.A., molded me into a better police officer. Now, in the Executive Master’s Program, I’m exchanging ideas with other officers. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience.”

Contents

Remembering Our Heroes

Looking back on 9/11 two decades after the tragedy. By Andrea Dawn Clark

Improving Mental Health Behind Bars

Virginia Barber-Rioja’s, Ph.D.,’02, ’09 passion for psychology and law helps system-impacted individuals with mental health challenges. By Shirley Del Valle

President’s Letter

“We’re living through challenging times.” I’ve found myself writing, saying, and contemplating those five words countless times this year.

President
Karol V. Mason

Chief Communication Officer
Kira Poplowski, Ph.D.

Editorial Director
Andrea Dawn Clark

Writer/Editor
Shirley Del Valle

Creative Director
Laura DeVries

Web Developer
Chunhui Meng

Web Producer
Anh Phan