Community rallying behind South Charleston officer recently diagnosed with rare cancer

West Virginia

On all accounts, Cpl. Daniel Johnson is the kind of guy any law enforcement agency would want.

“Daniel was working for the department a couple of years before I got here.  He’s been here 12.  I’ve been here 14,” said South Charleston’s Chief of Police, Brad Rhinehart.

Rhinehart said Johnson has worked in traffic, has been assigned to some of the rougher parts of town.  Today, he’s works with the Metro Drug Enforcement Unit.  

“When he told me he had cancer, you come to realize, hey, we gotta do something for him,” he said.

That was just one of a number of thoughts Rhinehart had when he was told the news.

“Why’d it happen to him?  He’s such a good kid and such a hard worker.  He’s got two kids,” he added.

In January, Johnson was diagnosed with Pseudomyxoma Peritonei.  It’s a rare, malignant growth in his abdomen.  

The chief said this is the first time in a long time that his agency has needed to reached out to other law enforcement agencies and the community for help.  But, as soon as he put that call out there, it was answered.  He said people are going above and beyond.

“It’s the good thing about this job,” he said.  “When you call ‘help’, they come quick.  When you say ‘all hands on deck’, they tend to flock.”

A GoFundMe, a hot dog sale, a gun raffle, a dodgeball tournament- when the chief says ‘all hands on deck’ he means it.  “We don’t want him worrying about money.”

In March, Johnson and his family are headed to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for a 6 to 14 hour surgery.  Then there’s chemo.  Then, barring all complications, the Johnson family will be able to head home.  Expenses, Rhinehart said, will add up.  

The South Charleston Police Department, family, friends, law enforcement agencies across the region are standing behind Cpl. Daniel Johnson.

“We’re just a big family,” the chief said.  “That’s what we are.  We do police work on the side.” 

You can find the GoFundMe page for Johnson here.

A hotdog lunch benefit is being hosted by Cafe Appalachia on Saturday, March 9.  They are located at 206 D Street.  Lunchboxes will be available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Also on Saturday, March 9, the department is hosting a First Responders Charity Dodge Ball Tournament. It is being held at Oaks Field Gym in South Charleston.  Registration begins at 8:15 a.m. Matches start at 9. There is a $100 entry fee per team.  Fire, police and EMS are permitted to play.

For more information on a gun raffle to benefit the financial needs of Cpl. Johnson, contact the South Charleston Police Department at 304-744-6903.

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