Warsaw Native Takes Home Top Honors As State Trooper

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
Trooper David L. Johnson, born and raised in Warsaw, was recently named the Missouri State Highway Patrol’s 2018 Benjamin Oliver Booth Officer of the Year. During the past year, while assigned to Troop D, headquartered in Bolivar, Trooper Johnson made over 2,000 arrests, worked 58 traffic crashes and issued over 2,000 warnings. 
An article in the May 22, 2019 issue of the Bolivar Herald-Free Press (BH-FP), quoted Trooper Johnson as saying “It was something I had always hoped for – to be fortunate enough to win that award, and fortunately I had a good year and a couple of good stops.”
An MSHP release regarding his award stated that during Trooper Johnson’s 10-year career, he has excelled in traffic and drug enforcement. It reported that he is tenacious when it comes to enforcing Missouri’s drug laws, and…he is the consummate professional, always taking time to make a complete enforcement contact. He maintains a positive attitude, works as a team player, and has the respect of his peers and others in the law enforcement community.
Trooper Johnson was also honored as the Department of Public Safety Employee of the month in January 2019. Information about Trooper Johnson released by the Public Information & Education Division of the MSHP is as follows.
“In June 2018, David attended specialized training involving interdiction methods to protect children. Within the next three months, he arrested five suspects for charges involving possession of child pornography, failing to register as a sex offender, and violating terms of their sentence. 
In one case, David stopped a car for following too close on Missouri Highway 13 in Polk County. His interviewing technique during the traffic stop led to the arrest of the driver for possessing child pornography and failure to register as a sex offender. 
In another incident, while off-duty with his family, he observed suspicious behavior by a subject in a vehicle at the same park. After he returned to work, David followed up with the registered owner, identified him as the driver of the vehicle, and found he was a registered sex offender who was restricted from being at a public park. This same suspect had initially failed to list his vehicle in his sex offender registry information. 
David recognizes there are many nuances to this type of investigative method and continues to refine his technique.”
In the BH-FP article, Trooper Johnson said that every day he goes out and tries to take at least one person to jail. He was quoted as saying that before his training involving interdiction methods to protect children, he might stop a sex offender and think that the person did not want to talk about it. After training, Trooper Johnson said that he makes such persons talk about their status. He said that sex offenders often fail to register vehicles, cell phones, laptops, Facebook accounts and online identifiers. “That’s where we’re getting a lot of guys,” he said. “Who better to go after than these people? And who better to protect than children.”
Trooper Johnson was exposed to the life of a Highway Patrolman growing up. His father, Lt. Keith Johnson was a trooper for 32 years, retired in 2011, and resides in Warsaw
Trooper David Johnson has 10 years experience with the MSHP. Prior to joining the Highway Patrol in 2009, he attended the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg where he earned a B.S. degree in criminal justice. He graduated from Warsaw High School in 2005.