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SF cop had unreported security firm on top of his nonprofit

Officer Jason Johnson’s full-time work with his nonprofit was sanctioned by the police department despite a conflict of interest. His security firm was not.

A police officer faces a camera.
A screenshot of Officer Jason Johnson from a video about his nonprofit, Operation Genesis. | Source: Courtesy SFPD

A San Francisco police officer who for years ran his nonprofit on department time also founded a security firm without notifying the department, essentially holding three different roles: working as a cop, heading a nonprofit, and owning a small private security business.

Jason Johnson, who founded a nonprofit called Operation Genesis, which takes disadvantaged kids to Ghana every year, incorporated a private security firm in 2022 called Mirador Security Inc. and failed to notify the department about the business. It is unclear whether the company has ever had any customers.

Department orders require that any officer seeking outside employment first ask for permission from their supervisors. 

Every year, the department publishes a list of all the officers who have been given such permission and the businesses they work for. 

Johnson’s name was not on its latest list, which detailed such activities in 2023. He was also not on the department’s 2022 list.

After this article was published, a spokesperson for the department replied to an inquiry from The Standard, saying, “we don’t have any evidence to suggest Officer Johnson has done any work with his license.”

The SFPD said Johnson isn’t required to notify the department unless he earns income from the business. The city’s Department of Human Resources, however, has published guidelines that state city employees must receive approval before engaging in additional employment activities, which include, “business ownership, consulting, and working as an independent contractor.” A spokesperson for Human Resources confirmed under its intepretation, Johnson should have reported forming a business.

“Given the recent SF Safe scandal, I don’t believe the public has any faith in SFPD’s ability to investigate the propriety of its dealings with nonprofit organizations.” 

Police Commissioner Max Carter-Oberstone

According to the state’s Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, Johnson has been licensed as a private security guard and owner-manager of his business since 2022, which was initially called Security Firm 7 Inc.

When The Standard called a number associated with Johnson and asked about Mirador Security, the man on the line said the firm is not active. 

It is unclear how much time Johnson spends on the firm or what specific tasks he is responsible for. 

The newest revelation about Johnson’s activities outside of his role in the police department is one more reason why an outside investigation needs to be conducted, said Police Commissioner Max Carter-Oberstone. 

“All I can say is that there needs to be an independent investigation into what occurred here,” Carter-Oberstone said. “Given the recent SF Safe scandal, I don’t believe the public has any faith in SFPD’s ability to investigate the propriety of its dealings with nonprofit organizations.” 

A San Francisco Police Department video about Officer Jason Johnson's nonprofit, Operation Genesis.

Johnson, who was investigated by the department for running his nonprofit when also getting paid by the department as a cop, did not respond to a request for comment about the security firm.

The Standard previously reported that Johnson’s roughly 40-hour work week for Operation Genesis was sanctioned for years by the department, which paid him his salary during that time. 

The department said there was no conflict because Johnson was not paid by the nonprofit. 

Much of Operation Genesis’ funding came from the City of San Francisco. When the nonprofit was initially created, it listed its headquarters address at the same location as the police department’s headquarters. 

An Internal Affairs investigation into Johnson and the nonprofit launched last year alleged that he failed to investigate misconduct, had an unreported relationship and had no formal agreement with the department. 

The investigation only concluded that the entity had no memorandum of understanding, a document that would serve to codify the arrangement between SFPD and the nonprofit. The department said it was in the process of writing an MOU. 

The 2022 tax filings for Operation Genesis, the latest available, listed Johnson as a board member and president. But he is no longer included as a board member of the nonprofit, according to its website. 

The investigation, which came on the heels of the scandal involving another SFPD-linked nonprofit called SF SAFE, prompted a police commissioner and city supervisors to raise questions about what they saw as a conflict of interest. 

Former officers said that while officers have often been assigned to work alongside nonprofits from time to time, they are never allowed to do so when the nonprofit is one they run.

The Department of Human Resources Additional Employment Request guidelines state, “Any employee violating the additional employment requirements is subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.”

This story has been updated with a statement from the San Francisco Police Department and to incorporate additional reporting after publication.

Jonah Owen Lamb can be reached at