A new leader is joining the Johnstown Police Department as they welcome a new police chief.
The Johnstown police department introduced their new chief, Richard Pritchard Monday. Pritchard has a long resume of policing, most recently working as a lieutenant in Pittsburgh
“I want to thank them for letting me a part of the team that’s going to lead the Johnstown police department from good, to great and beyond. And I look forward to working for the city of Johnstown,” said Pritchard.
His arrival in Johnstown comes after former Chief, Robert Johnson retired from the department in July. Since then, Captain Chad Miller was serving as the interim chief, city officials say they are happy to welcome the new face to town.
“It’s going to give us some stability of what we’ve been looking for in the city. But I would also at this time, commend our acting chief, Chad Miller he did a fantastic job as interim and the entire department. But we are now looking forward to a new era and moving forward. Hopefully getting into community policing, being active, visible out in the community. A new fresh look at policing” said Johnstown’s Mayor, Frank Janakovic.
One of the biggest challenges Johnstown and police departments across the country are facing being understaffed.
“We are looking at policy updates and hiring. So, we are looking for people to step up and take the challenge in making Johnstown safe,” said Pritchard.
In light of recent events like the killing of George Floyd and other police brutality instances, Chief Pritchard addressed how he plans to navigate the tensions between police and residents.
“We are obviously going to look at procedural fairness training from the top down. Obviously, there are budget issues and that was actually my second phone call today. They are involved in procedural justice training so I’m looking to bring that here,” he said.