COUNTY EMPLOYEE RECOGNIZED AS TOP AREA MALE VOLUNTEER FOR KIDS

COUNTY EMPLOYEE RECOGNIZED AS TOP AREA MALE VOLUNTEER FOR KIDS

Lt. Ron Johnson of the Doña Ana County Detention Center was honored June 17 by Families and Youth, Inc., as the Male Volunteer of the Year for his work with area youth groups.
Johnson, 38, is a co-founder of Males Encouraging Niños, a development group for young fathers and other male role models. He also is the coach of a Christian Little League baseball team, the Cubs; and he coordinates a Wednesday night boys’ ministry, Royal Rangers, through La Paz de Cristo Assembly of God Church.
For his efforts, FYI presented Johnson with its J. Paul Taylor Award for volunteerism at a ceremony in Las Cruces’ Young Park.
A nine-year employee of Doña Ana County and a native of Las Cruces who attended Mayfield High School, Johnson said both he and his wife, Lourdes, are active in their church and volunteer significant blocks of time to children’s programs.
He said he is humbled by the award from FYI.
“This is a big honor for me,” he said. “The whole purpose behind volunteering is to help these kids understand that there is a rich world apart from drugs, gangs and other destructive practices that they see in the media and even on the school yards. I’ve been privileged to work with so many good kids and to hopefully be a good role model for them. That’s really the best reward in itself.”
Johnson is the Detention Center’s new juvenile unit manager. He was promoted from sergeant to lieutenant at the Detention Center effective June 5, 2000, to correspond with his new duties.
Capt. Cheryl Roach, interim administrator of the Detention Center, said Johnson was the obvious choice to manage the juvenile unit upon the departure of Lt. Pat Ross, who took the administrator’s position at the Chaves County Detention Center in Roswell in April.
“Ron is great with the kids,” Roach said. “He treats them with respect and communicates very well with them about how they got here and what choices they can make to stay out of trouble in the future. It doesn’t surprise me at all that he’s being recognized for his work with children outside the Detention Center on his free time. I know I speak for the entire staff when I say that we’re very proud of Ron and his accomplishments, both here and in the community.”