Salute the Badge: This martial arts-training officer keeps kids from drinking

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Raychel Johnston spends her days making sure liquor stores and bars abide by state laws.

From 2008 to 2010, Johnston played basketball at Washburn University. The Seaman High School grad studied criminal justice which would lead her to a job in corrections, where she would spend two years.

"I come from a family of law enforcement, so law enforcement has always been every special to me,” Johnston said. “I wanted to serve the community and be a part of that."

Now, as part of the state Alcoholic Beverage Control, she helps make sure establishments across Kansas are following the law.

"We’re a multi-jurisdictional agency. Our number one priority is public health and safety,” Johnston said. “It’s nice to be able to have that relationship with the agencies that are around us. We all work as a team. We do what needs to be done. But our number one priority is public health and safety."

Johnston also partners with Safe Streets to form a coalition to help stop underage drinking.

"We go into the local liquor stores and drinking establishments and the UCI, the Underage Cooperating Individual, attempts to buy in there,” Johnston said. “If they succeed at not buying, then we send out a letter of recognition to those licensees.”

The former college athlete also trains other law enforcement officers in Jiu-Jitsu.

Every month, her and other instructors come together in the Kansas City area to train local law enforcement agencies in defensive tactics.

"I look at it as an athletic side of me,” Johnston said. “The Jiu-Jitsu, DT, part of it is just me allowing myself to get on my feet.

She said it add another element to her tool belt and helps her stay on her toes.

But the training couldn't prepare her for losing her son four years ago.

"His name was Brody. He passed away four years ago. He was four months old,” Johsnton said. “As you can probably understand it was quite shocking. We never found out the reason for his passing but in order to keep his memory alive, we've decided to raise funds.”

The fundraiser is the Brody R. Johnston Golf Tournament. A portion of those funds go towards the SIDS network and the other portion will be given as a scholarship to a Washburn Women’s Basketball player or Men’s Tennis player.

“It’s just a good way for us to keep our sons memory alive," Johnston said.