Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - A funeral will be held Wednesday morning for a long time Rochester Police Officer who retired a few years ago after reaching the rank of Deputy Chief. Steve Johnston was 60-years-old when he died of a heart attack at his Rochester home last Wednesday. A police spokesman says Johnston was apparently cutting some brush on his property when he collapsed, and later found by his wife.

Ironically, Johnston helped lead the development of the portable heart defibrillator program that equipped Rochester Police squad cars with the live-saving technology He also assisted other law enforcement agencies develop their own programs and raised funds to purchase the devices.

According to his obituary, Johnston’s 35 year career in law enforcement also included a lead role in the construction of the city’s Animal Control Shelter and the automation of the department’s parking ticket system. Following his retirement in 2009, the Deputy Chief position he held was eliminated as part of a restructuring of the police department.

He is survived by his wife, Connie, and their two adult children.

A visitation for Johnston will be held Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. at the Autumn Ridge Timothy Chapel. There will also be a visitation an hour before the funeral, which is scheduled at 11 a.m Wednesday in the main auditorium at Autumn Ridge Church.

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