March 26, 2015

Johns takes over NTPD


By Jerry W. Kram

Officer James Johns of the New Town Police Department has been a familiar face on the streets of New Town for the past year, but as of last month he will be carrying a new title – Chief James Johns.

Johns has been acting Chief of Police for New Town since the previous chief, David Shawstad was dismissed by the New Town City Council last fall. He was chosen to take over the position in February.

Johns lived in many states as a child. He came to New Town from Ohio, where he was deputy sheriff.

"I lived a lot of places but eventually settled in Ohio," Johns said. "That’s where I met my wife. We met and had fun and grew up and are still together."

Johns came to New Town about a year ago. He was hired as a Sargent. He said taking over as the chief is a big step that comes with paperwork. Lots of paperwork.

"Some of the paperwork I’m still not used to," Johns said. "North Dakota does things a little bit differently, so one of the challenges is learning how to do the paperwork."

Johns said the department has two priorities, and he will continue to devote a lot of the department’s time and energy on them.

"Traffic and drugs and drugs and traffic," he said. "They kind of go hand in hand. You also have a lot of people with guns who don’t want to tell you they have guns."

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