Legislation To Be Named To Honor Sgt. Johnson’s Legacy

Friday, July 3rd 2020, 9:12 pm
By: Erick Payne

TULSA, Okla. -

Tulsa lawmakers said they plan to name legislation in honor of Sergeant Craig Johnson in the next session.

The fallen Tulsa Police officer was instrumental on a bill to crack down on copper wire theft.

For years, city and state leaders have worked to stop thieves from stealing copper out of street and highway lights. A couple of years ago, they put together a coalition of businesses, law enforcement, utilities, scrap metal dealers and others across the community.  

It was headed by State Representative Carol Bush and Sgt. Johnson was the statewide lead.

"And let me tell you, they're at the table because of Sgt. Johnson. That's what he did. He brought the coalition together," Bush said.

News On 6 spoke with Sgt. Johnson a couple years ago about the challenges TPD was having with copper wire theft. He told us they were seeing an increase of those crimes in the last several years.

"If we can take away the avenue that people have to sell the wire that they steal, that's huge. If there's no profit in it, then it will stop," Johnson said.

The original bill made it a requirement to have a state or federal ID to sell metal to scrap dealers. It also reduced the type of copper that could be sold by someone who doesn't have a license, updating the paperwork for selling a car to a scrap metal dealer, and changed to an online reporting system.

"He said we're going to do something, bring all the players together and talk about the language, what is needed, how can we work together to keep our communities safe and the lights on," Bush said.

Representative Bush said that Sgt. Johnson was selfless in serving his community and gave the coalition valuable insight from his 15 years on the force.

"These are heinous crimes, and to be able to have his legacy live on like this is the least we can do for what he did for us," Bush said.

HB3031 was passed by the House this spring before the legislative session was interrupted by COVID-19. Bush said she plans to refile the bill in the next session and will rename it in Johnson’s honor.