About Us

Welcome to the Johnston Police Department's web page. We hope you will find this information helpful to keeping your family, your business or your residence safe. 

In late 2018, a survey of Johnston residents showed Johnston ranks 27% higher than the national average when it comes to overall feelings of safety in the City. Ninety-four percent of Johnston residents say they are either satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of local police protection.

The City of Johnston has a rich history as a safe community. Johnston was patrolled by the Polk County Sheriff’s Office up until 1969, when Johnston officially became a city. The first known patrol vehicles were the 1971 Ford and the 1970 AMC. Patrol cars were dark in color with a generic gold badge on the doors with the words “Johnston Police.” Johnston portable radios were in use during that time. 

In 1975, the Johnston Police Department had four full time officers, including the chief of police, and one part-time officer. That number increased to eight full-time officers in 1980, including the chief of police. That's when the total population of Johnston was approximately 1,800 people. Nine establishments sold alcoholic beverages in the city at that time. 

We are building on a strong foundation here at the Johnston Police Department. In 2014, we moved into the new Public Safety Building located at 6373 Merle Hay Road. It's a place voters approved by a wide margin and it is worthy of their approval. The building offers our police officers and firefighters more opportunities for training and the highest quality tools to keep you safe. 

Johnston police officers began wearing body-worn cameras on their uniforms in early 2015 to document interactions between officers and the public. The cameras become an unbiased witness to events, they promote transparency, and they raise the bar for public behavior and police officer performance. In cities where officers are wearing the cameras, studies show a reduction in complaints and use-of-force issues. Click here to watch a video about the new cameras. 

Videos created by the body-worn cameras will be downloaded into the police department's video system by placing the camera into a docking station at the end of each shift. Read the police department's policy on body-worn cameras.

Today, Johnston’s seat belt utilization rate is 97.9% which is above the state average of 93.1% and the national average of 87%. This was discovered during a stepped-up police presence in Johnston in the Spring of 2015. The project involving the Central Iowa Safety Task Force and Governor's Traffic Safety Bureau was intended to raise awareness of safe driving habits in order to save lives.