Deanna Johnson

Deanna Johnson has been named deputy chief of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of Public Safety (DPS).

Johnson has more than 22 years of experience in law enforcement with the Pima County Sheriff’s Department in Arizona, working her way through the ranks from deputy sheriff to bureau chief.

Deputy Chief Johnson has experience in public information, human resources and emergency management. During her time with Pima County, Johnson supervised the Economic Crimes Section of Pima County’s Criminal Investigations Division, and Special Investigations Division, which was responsible for investigating narcotics trafficking.

As one of three bureau chiefs in the department, she worked directly for the elected sheriff and helped guide the agency through the first leadership transition in more than 30 years. Johnson retired from her position at Pima County in December 2017 and joined UH Mānoa in April 2018.

“We are excited to welcome Deputy Chief Johnson to our team,” UH Mānoa Chief Andrew Black said. “This was a brand new position at DPS, and we are so very fortunate to have such an experienced leader to fill this role. We look forward to what the future holds for our department as we continue to serve our community with aloha.”

Although Johnson is new to Oʻahu, her parents lived in Hilo for more than 10 years and she developed a deep love for the state of Hawaiʻi through her many visits.

“When I had an opportunity to become a member of the UH Mānoa Department of Public Safety, I was excited to transition into civilian life while still working in a familiar career field,” said Johnson.

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In addition to her 22 years in law enforcement, Johnson earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice at Northern Arizona University and her master’s in organizational management at University of Phoenix.