The Illawarra police community is mourning the sudden loss of a well-loved and respected senior community-based cop.
Chief Inspector Steven “Johnno” Johnson, formerly of Lake Illawarra and the Shoalhaven commands died unexpectedly on Tuesday.
“Johnno will be very much missed by everyone he knew,” a long-time colleague told the Mercury.
“He was one of those quirky people who would always put a smile on your face by one of his many stories or passions that he was involved with,” the police officer said.
“I don’t think people realise the amount of work he did for the Aboriginal community, for conservation with his fishing and general community causes. He had a strong passion for fishing and if anyone showed a slight inkling of interest he would have them straight on his boat and take them out.
“Johnno was one of those people who got more satisfaction from doing things for others than for himself.”
Tributes are flowing on Facebook for the 47-year-old officer being remembered “as a legendary and inspirational man”.
Senior Constable Koz Ismail, who worked with Johnno at Lake Illawarra and has produced a video tribute, said his colleague was “a man of endless empathy”.
“He worked for the community, he was an endless supporter of the youth and indigenous youth.
“He was passionate to the case of youth mental health, always put the community and his peers first before himself.
“He was a loving family man, a selfless community man and police officer.”