BY PAULA MINAERT — Detective Suzie Johnson of the Hyattsville Police Department is a finalist in America’s Most Wanted All-Star Award for 2011.
Sponsored by the popular television program, the annual award honors the country’s first responders – the police officers, firefighters, and paramedics who serve on the front lines in emergencies.The winner will receive $10,000 and an all-expenses-paid weekend in Charlotte, N.C. for the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series All-Star Challenge.
Johnson, a Hyattsville native, came to the HPD in 1993 after serving on the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department. She now heads up our city’s Criminal Investigative Division. But it is for her involvement in the life of the community that most residents know her. She initiated the Sonny Frazier Toy Drive, which is named for councilmember Ruth Ann Frazier’s late husband and continues his tradition of providing toys for needy children at Christmas; coaches local sports teams; and for several years headed the police department’s Community Action Team.
Recently, Johnson led Hyattsville’s efforts to respond to one of its greatest tragedies: a house fire that killed two children in a local family and left the family homeless. She raised more than $8,000 for the relief fund.
In her interview with America’s Most Wanted, Johnson said, “I didn’t become a police officer to arrest people. I became one to help people.”
The All-Star winner was announced May 9, after this issue’s printing. But for Hyattsville residents, Detective Johnson will always be an all star.