Friday, July 20, 2018

NorCo Council Confirms New Sheriff

Sheriff Johnston, flanked by his wife Barbara, left,
and daughter Maya, right
At their July 19 meeting, Northampton County Council voted 8-0, with Peg Ferraro abstaining, to confirm Richard H. Johnston as Sheriff.  He is also the joint top choice of both Executive Lamont McClure and President Judge Michael Koury, Jr.

Johnston's salary will be $89,235.

Johnston is the 72d person to serve as Northampton County Sheriff since the county was first formed in 1752. The County's first Sheriff, William Craig, was a Captain in Pennsylvania provincial militia under Major William Parsons during the French and Indian War. Johnston's immediate predecessor, David Dalrymple, was a major in the New Jersey State Police.

The Sheriff's Office goes all the way back to tenth century England, when Alfred the Great divided England into "shires" led by a "reeve." The shire reeve eventually became known as the Sheriff, who would defend the people against Viking incursions.

These days, the Northampton County Sheriff still provides building and court room security. He also transports prisoners, locates and apprehends fugitives, serves legal papers, administers the foreclosure, repossession and sale of real and personal property, and issues gun permits. It is an elective office except in Northampton and Luzerne Counties.

Sheriff Johnston,l eft, with Lamont McClure
You can still detect a slight New York accent in Johnston's voice. He started his career there as a NYC transit cop in 1982. While working full-time, he earned an associate's degree in forensic psychology in 1993. In 1994, he was promoted to sergeant for the NYPD, where he supervised anywhere between 20 and 45 officers, depending on which precinct he worked.

After putting in his 20 years with New York City, he continued his career in law enforcement here in the Lehigh Valley. He started as a District Security Officer at Easton School District, and became a deputy sheriff in 2002. He worked his way up through the ranks until he became a lieutenant in 2008.

He also knows what it's like to suffer adversity on the job. In 2010, he was laid off as a result of a department reorganization. Instead of giving up, he worked for Sands Casino as a security officer and a table games dealer until he was reinstated in 2013.

Johnston has 34 years of experience in law enforcement.

He lives in Bethlehem Township with his wife Barbara. He also has two daughters, Flannery and Moya, who graduated from Freedom High School.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Rich!

Bill Hillanbrand

Anonymous said...

Lehighcounty could use a new shierff with the family ties being a conflicting matter!

Anonymous said...