Jason C. Johnson
Jason Johnson has served as president of the Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund (LELDF) since 2019. A non-profit organization, the LELDF has for over 25 years supported individual law enforcement officers wrongfully charged with crimes related to their law enforcement duties. The LELDF is also a voice for the law enforcement profession; providing balance to the public conversation about important and controversial policing and criminal justice issues. Jason has provided commentary on such issues on Fox News, The Baltimore Sun, San Fransisco Chronicle, The Hill, and a number of other major media outlets.
Before joining the LELDF, Jason served as Deputy Police Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department from 2016-2018. Prior to joining the Baltimore Police Department, he retired at the rank of Major from the Prince George’s County, Maryland Police Department.
As Deputy Commissioner for the Strategic Services Bureau, he exercised executive leadership over Baltimore Police Department functions critical to building a culture of law enforcement professionalism. In addition to exercising day-to-day management of the Strategic Service Bureau, he was charged with leading the implementation of key improvements in the areas of professional accountability, training, recruiting, technology and data management; as well as the development of organizational policies and practices reflective of constitutional policing. Jason also served as principal BPD representative in the drafting and negotiation of the BPD’s consent decree with the United States Department of Justice.
Jason led a complete overhaul in BPD’s use of force and use of force-related policies. This work resulted in a comprehensive system of command review; as well as the incorporation of more modern training modalities, such as Integrated Communication, Assessment and Tactics (ICAT). Jason led a newly-created Performance Review Board (PRB), which conducted detailed reviews of incidents involving serious use of force by BPD officers. The PRB process identified the need for additional policy changes, as well as gaps in prior training, deficiencies in supervision, equipment failures, and other factors that increased risk for the BPD and its employees.
Over the course of his career with the Prince George’s County Police Department, Jason served in diverse operational and organizational assignments, including: patrol officer, police academy instructor, Special Assignment Team supervisor, patrol shift commander, crisis negotiator, and police legal advisor. He also served as commander of legal affairs, assistant commander of special investigations, and commander of internal affairs.
Jason holds a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Health Services Management from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maryland School of Law. He is admitted to the practice of law in Maryland. He is a graduate of the 251st session of the FBI National Academy and the 2017 cohort of the Greater Baltimore Committee’s civic leadership program: “The LEADERship.”