Gareth Braxton-Johnson began his law enforcement career in 1999 with the Scottsdale (AZ) Police Department before joining the Cottonwood Police Department in 2005. Over the past 23 years he has worked in assignments such as patrol, gangs, bicycle patrol, school resource officer, investigations, forensic interviewer, computer forensics, internal affairs, narcotics sergeant & federal TFO, SWAT, and SWAT Commander. During his time as an investigator, he was temporarily assigned to the Arizona Counter Terrorism Information Center (ACTIC).
He is a graduate of the 254th session of the FBI National Academy in 2013, the DEA/Arizona HIDTA Drug Unit Commander Leadership Academy, and the Arizona P.O.S.T. Executive Leadership Program. His professional membership associations include the Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the FBI National Academy Associates, Arizona Chapter. He is currently serving on the FBINAA Arizona Chapter Executive Board, as Chapter Sergeant-At-Arms.
In 2022, Commander Braxton-Johnson was appointed to serve as the Northern Arizona Regional Training Academy Commander (N.A.R.T.A), responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations and graduating police classes.
Commander Braxton-Johnson considers himself a lifelong learner and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Lindenwood University in Missouri, a Graduate Certificate in Criminal Justice Education from the University of Virginia, and a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. He previously served as an adjunct instructor at Northern Arizona University in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences. He was recently admitted to the Harvard Kennedy School for Senior Executives in State and Local Government program, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Along with spending time with his loved ones, learning, and teaching, he also enjoys outdoor activities, reading, and all athletic competition.
He was promoted to Commander in October of 2018 and served as the Patrol Commander until November 2020. He then served as the Support Services Commander until 2023 overseeing COP Volunteers, Citizen Police Academy, Cottonwood Public Safety Communications Center (PSAP), Criminal Investigations Unit, Records, Property and Evidence, Professional Standards, School Resource Officer, Victims Assistance.
The Patrol Division makes up the largest and most visible portion of the department. Patrol officers are trained in contemporary policing and currently employ an evidence-based policing philosophy around the City. Officers are actively engaged in problem-solving by collaborating with residents and visitors to address quality of life and crime issues through the neighborhood officer program.
In January of 2023, he was assigned back to the Patrol Division. His command oversees the following specialized assignments within the Patrol Division:
- Patrol Officers
- K-9 Unit
- Traffic Unit
- Bicycle Unit
- Outreach Services Officer
- School Safety Officer
- Off-Highway Vehicle Enforcement
- Police Aides