Gainesville Daily Register

March 16, 2013

Johnson to lead Abigail's Arms response team

By CATHY MOUNCE, Register Staff Writer

Gainesville — Abigail’s Arms has added retired Denton police investigator Ginger Johnson to the Cooke County Family Crisis Center team.

Johnson, a native of Lindsay, is returning to the Cooke County area to serve as head of the Victim Services and Sexual Assault Response Team at Abigail’s Arms. She will be a key component in managing cases and providing communication to all parties involved in investigations.

After 23 years at the Denton Police Department, Johnson brings a wealth of experience and credentials to the newly-formed Abigail’s Arms team.

She earned an associate degree in criminal justice in 1990 and a master police officer certification in 2002.

She began her career with  the Denton Police Department in 1990 as a patrol officer progressing though the ranks with specialized training and advancement opportunities to become a seasoned investigator for crimes against persons and family violence.

Johnson said she is happy to return to her roots.

“I am so glad to be back here and to be closer to family,” she said. “I’m looking forward to being part of Abigail’s Arms and to work with such a great team.”

Abigail’s Arms executive director Kim Cook said Johnson will be a good fit for the agency.

“Ginger is a great asset to our team, one of experience and compassion,” Cook said. “ Abigail’s Arms and the people of Cooke County have a new champion that will be a great liaison between Cooke County law enforcement, the legal community and of course those we serve.”

At the top of her agenda is to provide local capability for forensic exams for victims of sexual assault.

In the past assault victims have had to travel outside the county for exams. Johnson is working on putting together a local team in Cooke County.

The team will partner with North Texas Medical Center.

“Women and children who are sexually assaulted not only have endured a traumatic experience but then they have go else where for forensic assistance.” Johnson continued, “We believe that by having a local trauma unit, we can better serve these victims.”

Johnson is a mother of five grown children and five grandchildren. “Most of my kids live close by but one lives in New York,” she said. “ They are glad to have us close by.”

Johnson’s husband Derrall is happy to make the transition from Denton to Cooke County and spending more time with their horses and grandchildren.

Hanging on the wall at the Abigail’s Arms office in downtown Gainesville is a homemade quilt. Cook likens the Abigail’s Arms team to that quilt.   

“We all are different with our own strengths and personalities, textures and colors but like a quilt we all fit together with one purpose, to do what we can to heal and help and to blanket others with compassion and assistance,” she said.

New advocate Johnson is looking forward to being an integral part of the team.

“It is awesome to be here,” she said. “ I am glad to contribute whatever way I can, even if it is just to hold a hand.”