Meet Sharone Johnson, Philadelphia’s First Black Woman K-9 Sergeant


by Jolie Doggett

February 7, 2024

This story is about a woman and her dog making history while striving to protect and serve the city of brotherly love! 

This Black History Month, Sgt. Sharone Johnson became the first Black woman K-9 sergeant in Philadelphia’s Police Department. It’s a dream job that Johnson (and her two-year-old canine partner, Red) worked hard and long to see come true.

“I didn’t get here on the first try, I didn’t get here on the second try,” Johnson told WPVI TV. “I stayed focused, and prayed up, and waited my turn and it finally came.”


It came with a lot of training for both Johnson and Red. Red attended specialty school to get trained in explosives, and together, the pair completed over 500 hours of patrol and safety training last month. Now, they’re on the streets.

“We do article searches, we do building searches, we’re on patrol, we’re responding to 911 calls,” Johnson said of the scope of their work in the K-9 unit. And their partnership isn’t broken once the badge comes off. “[Red and I] go together to work, we come home together, we really have a special bond. He’s loyal.”

Now that Red and Johnson have achieved this history-making goal, she hopes her journey and her work will inspire others to push hard toward their dreams.


“The sky is the limit, whatever you want to do, you do it.”

Alt Text: Meet Sharone Johnson, Philadelphia’s First Black Female K-9 Sergeant / Photo credit: WPVI-TV

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