Payson Police Officer Moonlighting On State Community College Board


As a detective for the Payson Police Department, Steve Johnson of Payson is accustomed to spending long hours studying clues and conducting research.

These days, Johnson spends his free time studying reports from the state as a newly appointed member of the State Board of Directors for Community Colleges.

The state board includes one member from each of the 15 counties appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Senate. Johnson was confirmed by the Senate last week.

The state board is the leading advocate for the community college system with the Legislature, the executive branch of government, other state agencies and with the public.

"Our goal is to unite all of the community colleges so that the courses and credits can transfer from college to college," Johnson said.

"It's been very interesting so far and a lot more work than I originally thought," he said. "It demands a lot of time. I have a lot of reading to do to prepare for the meetings and to stay up to par.

"So why do I do this," he said. "It's like, 'Why am I a policeman?' I do it for the community."

Johnson is married to Jo Johnson, administrative assistant to Dist. 1 Gila County Supervisor Ron Christensen, and they have two sons, Clay and Matt.

"We've always been in step with our children," he said. "When they were playing T-ball, I coached T-ball. When they were playing in Little League, I coached Little League. Matt will be going to community college this year, so now I'm doing this."

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