The Boy Scouts of America announced today that, as part of its commitment to youth protection, it has created the new full-time position of Youth Protection director. Michael “Mike” Johnson, an internationally recognized expert on child abuse detection and prevention, has joined the BSA as Youth Protection director effective July 24, 2010. Johnson will report to Assistant Chief Scout Executive Jim Terry.
“Protection of our youth is at the very heart of Scouting and our most essential goal,” said Chief Scout Executive Robert Mazzuca. “The Boy Scouts has long sought continuing improvement in our Youth Protection program in order to provide the safest possible environment for our young people. We are confident that Mike, working in close coordination with other experts in law enforcement, psychiatry and other disciplines, will build upon existing policies to further enhance Scouting’s educational and training programs and continue to improve our existing policies and procedures.”
“Throughout its history, the Boy Scouts of America has been at the forefront of youth protection,” Johnson stated. “I believe in the organization’s commitment to youth protection, I am encouraged by the continued progress the Scouts have made, and I will do everything in my power to ensure that Scouting is as safe as possible for all of our members.”
Johnson has conducted hundreds of trainings for law enforcement and child services professionals worldwide. A native of San Antonio, Texas, Johnson most recently served in the juvenile division of the Plano (Texas) Police Department. He joined the department in September 1982 and began working in the criminal investigations division devoted to investigating child abuse cases in 1986. He is a founding member of the Collin County Children’s Advocacy Center, and in 1996 he was named the center’s Child Advocate of the Year. He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice with a minor in psychology from Southwest Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.
Johnson has served on the National Board of Directors for the American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children (APSAC) and was president of the APSAC Texas State Chapter. He has served on numerous other national boards and task forces, including the National Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers, the Law Enforcement Subcommittee for several of APSAC’s national colloquiums, and the working group for the establishment of the National Center on the Sexual Behavior of Youth. And, he has been instrumental in helping shape state laws to protect children from child abuse.
Serving nearly 2.8 million young people between 7 and 20 years of age at more than 290 councils throughout the United States and its territories, the Boy Scouts of America is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training.
Source: BSA Press Release