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 Secretary.
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. Commander Braxton-Johnson is currently assigned to the Support Services Division. The Support Services Division provides critical support to patrol operations while encompassing the majority of police department employees. The Support Services Division supports a wide array of community outreach programs including, National Night Out, Shop with a Cop, Trunk or Treat, and the Citizens Police Academy, to name a few. Commander Braxton-Johnson’s areas of responsibility include:
Support Services Division
Citizen Police Academy
Cottonwood Public Safety Communications Center (PSAP)
Criminal Investigations Unit
Property and Evidence
School Resource Officer