TAZEWELL COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — Fon du Lac Park District’s Chief of Police retired at the start of the new year after more than 20 years of service.

Through his decades of work, Michael Johnson has been an advocate for public information and safety and veteran support.

“We take advantage of everything we have here,” said Michael Johnson. “If you ask a veteran, who has served in some of these areas around the world, you really come back with an appreciation of what we have.”

He’s educated Illinoisans on boating and river safety.

“Make sure you have a marine radio that works,” said Johnson. “Make sure the mice didn’t get in and eat your lifejackets up over the winter time and just check the fluids.”

He’s Helped spread awareness of blue-green algae.

“You get very hot humid weather in July, August, September and that’s when you’re going to start seeing these algae start to pop up,” said Johnson.

He helped create the first Central Illinois law enforcement team of police divers.

Johnson said he’s the proudest of, “bringing people home. Bringing closure to families. I think it’s very, very important to know where your loved ones are. You’re not happy with the outcome but at least you can get some closure.”

After his service in the Air Force, Johnson was named Police Chief in 1999.

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