There is an old saying, applicable to HPD and countless other places and professions.
It goes: Like father, like son.
Well, in the police department of the nation’s fourth largest city, the old saying might be: Like mother, like daughter.
The Badge & Gun has learned the new saying goes something like:
Like mother, like daughter and like grandfather, like granddaughter.
What we’re trying to tell you is that one-year HPD Officer Jazne Fields hails from one of what seems like a growing number of law enforcement families, many of which have been featured on our online pages.
“Jaz” is the granddaughter of a Michigan state police officer, the daughter of Harris County Sheriff’s Sgt. Cedric Johnson and – to boot – also the daughter of HPD Officer Catina “Cat” Johnson.
The mother and daughter are proof that there are two “hip” officers at North Patrol. You have “Cat” and “Jaz.” That is pretty hip. Cat, a veteran of almost 13 years on the force, serves as the budget guru at North Patrol, while her daughter works patrol like her mother once did.
“I don’t know of any mother-daughter officers,” Johnson said. “There are so many father-sons. There is a father with a son here (at North Patrol). But I don’t know of any other mother-daughter officers anywhere.”
Well, at least we don’t know of any who work at the same station.
Mother works days as the budget officer. Daughter works evening patrol – exactly where she learned the proverbial “ropes” from her mom during ride-alongs when she was a teenager.
We can make the case that Cat and Jaz are excellent HPD recruiters. See what you think.
Officer Johnson got inspiration from her father, Charles Murry, a now-retired Michigan state trooper. She graduated Academy Class No. 188 in January 2007, meaning she is now in her 13th year at HPD. And she soon became the “poster woman” for the “Blue Needs You” recruiting campaign.
“Cat” paid enough attention to her dad’s police work to become a criminal justice major at Michigan State University. Her mother had moved to Houston for job opportunities. Cat joined her and soon wanted to apply to HPD. It wasn’t easy – there was a hiring freeze in 2003.
The future HPD senior police officer worked in the county jail for a year and a half, working for the same sheriff as her husband, Sgt. Johnson. After officially becoming an HPD officer, she started in Central Patrol and took her turn working the jail before finding her niche in North Patrol. She worked the streets for eight years before becoming the North Patrol budget officer in 2015.
Cat’s enthusiasm for police work obviously rubbed off on her daughter, for “Jaz” went on more than one ride-along with her mom, including one where shots were fired – at other officers, while the mother and daughter served as backup. Jaz learned many basics, such as the location of the emergency buttons in her mom’s ride.
Another experience that prompted Jaz to set her sights on HPD happened when she was a high school senior. She went on a tour of the academy during Police Week. The enlightening tour that exposed her to the various opportunities in HPD as well as her mother’s encouragement steered her toward her life’s course. She graduated from Cypress Ranch High School in 2015 and earned her college hours at Lone Star College.
“I have always known what I wanted to do ever since my mom got introduced to law enforcement,” Jaz said. “She and my grandfather both played a big role in following in their footsteps.
“I attended Police Week with my mom and saw all the different things officers do – scuba diving, SWAT, Mounted Patrol and K9s. Officers have the opportunity to do something they actually like. There are so many options in patrol.
“I had the opportunity this year to escort the kids during Police Week tours.”
The academy tourist is now an academy tour guide. She informed her charge of the HPD opportunities and said the elementary-age kids asked many questions about a police career.
See what we mean about recruiting, according to Cat and Jaz?
Jazne Fields graduated from Class 235 on Jan. 22, 2018, “my father’s birthday.” She was president of the class. She didn’t become the first native of Bay City, Michigan, to join HPD. She was the second. Now-retired Executive Assistant Chief Tim Oettmeier was delighted and amazed when he learned Cadet Fields hailed from his hometown.
As is so often the case, the full law enforcement family turned out for the badge-pinning at the graduation ceremony.
“My dad, myself and my husband were there and we all three went up,” Cat pointed out. “I pinned her but they stood with me. I pinned her badge. I wanted that honor. I don’t think we’re going to fight about that one.”
Jaz is the oldest of Cat’s five children. She is 23, followed by Jace, 20; Donovan, 18; Maddox and Amani, 10, twin brother and sister. Donovan, a cornerback, has earned a full football scholarship at Abilene Christian University.
Jaz trained at Southwest Station and initially “wanted to go back but couldn’t because it was already filled.”
She then fell into the circumstances that enabled her to pull a fast one on her mom. The family resides in Cypress. The most inconvenient assignment from this northwest suburb would be Clear Lake. Jaz told Cat she was assigned there.
“Oh, no,” the mother said. “That’s so far away, so inconvenient for you.”
The next day the daughter – a grin shining from ear to ear – showed up at her real assignment – North Patrol – and held up a sign that said: “Guess Who’s Coming 2 North?”
“She was just trying to surprise me,” Cat the budget officer said. And she did! North Patrol is one of the HPD stations closest to Cypress.
Jaz loves following in her mom’s footsteps on patrol but aims toward being a K9 officer.
She no doubt will continue leading Police Week tours at the academy.
“I know a good amount of those on the tour have the same dreams as I did,” she explained. “I told them the requirements and said they are the same for constable or any other branch of law enforcement. I tell them there is an opportunity to see what’s out there. It’s not all about downtown. It’s helicopters, swimming in the bayous, Mounted Patrol and K9s. It’s not all about one thing.
“There’s a home for everybody. You just have to go through the process.”
Yep. Like mother, like daughter – an exceptional HPD recruiter!