Florida school safety assistant pawned service weapon twice, district says

Arrested Duval County School Police Department employee resigns

(Getty Images)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Florida school district police employee has been arrested after authorities said he admitted to pawning his service weapon -- not once but twice.

James Johnson, who was a district school safety assistant in Duval County, has been charged with false verification of ownership to a secondhand dealer and receiving goods under $300.

Johnson’s wife, Niketah Johnson, is principal of John E. Love Elementary. Officials said there is currently no evidence that she was involved in these incidents. 

District officials declined to name the school where Johnson was assigned, citing security reasons. The Duval County School Police Department is coordinating security coverage at the school. 

A source indicated that James Johnson did not work at the same school as his wife.

According to a release from the district, James Johnson was arrested around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Duval County School Police headquarters.   

“It is always difficult arresting one of your own, but we have the highest standards for the conduct of everyone affiliated with our police department,” Chief Micheal Edwards said. “We will never waiver in enforcing those standards.” 

According to his arrest reports, James Johnson told his supervisor he was having financial issues and pawned the Glock on two occasions at different pawn shops.

He was given $250 for the weapon on Aug. 24 and then got another $50 from the same pawn shop on Sept. 8. He pawned his service weapon again at a different pawn shop on Oct. 5 for $230.

Johnson reported the pawning incidents to his supervisor and confessed to the charges while being interviewed by a Duval County School Police investigator, officials said. He signed a letter of resignation effective immediately.

“While I am disappointed by this incident, the community needs to know that I will not tolerate the misuse of the district’s resources,” Superintendent Dr. Diana Greene said. “This incident and the individual’s circumstances do not shake my confidence in the vetting process for our school safety assistants. This is an isolated incident that should not reflect on the process or on the people who serve in our schools.”

To be selected as a school safety assistant, an applicant must pass a background check, psychological examination, drug test, polygraph test and interview before entering training.

School safety assistants receive a total of 200 hours of training from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the Duval County School Police Department before placement on a school campus. The training required to be a Duval County Public Schools school safety assistant exceeds requirements of state statute by 56 hours.

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