Byron Roberson

Chief at Prairie Village Kansas Police Department

Where were you born and raised?
Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. I moved to Grandview, Missouri in middle school where I graduated in the class of 1987.

What is your occupation?
Chief at Prairie Village Kansas Police Department

What is your favorite childhood memory?
Going to the 63rd St drive-in with neighborhood friends and seeing a scary movie, with no car I might add.

What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History Month means a time for us all to reflect on where African Americans' journey started and all of the accomplishments that got us to where we are today.

What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing the Black community?
Black men in the household raising their sons and daughters. This has been a problem for some time and i believe many of the issues facing the black community at large stem from the lack of black men being in the home raising their sons and daughters.

When did you realize you were Black in America and what has that meant for your life?
When I moved to Grandview Missouri in the late 1970's it was predominately white. Coming from a predominately black neighborhood in KCMO for so many years, running into someone who didn't like me because of what color I was was rare if existent at all. It is when you realize someone treats you differently because you don't look like them or belong to the majority, that you start to realize everything is not equal nor fair.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration to push for change?
My parents by far. They were raised in Mississippi in the 40's & 50's and pursued their dreams of becoming teachers despite means or status to pay for it. They worked hard, dreamed of some place with more opportunities and went for it not just talked about it. They instilled in my brother and i to have goals and to make effort to achieve them.

How have you supported or contributed to the local Black community?
I have participated in many talks, panels and discussions at various venues promoting equality and understanding of African Americans. For several years I have had the privilege of teaching cultural diversity at the City of Prairie Village during annual training events. I have collaborated with many activists and groups such as the NAACP in order to help bridge the gap between law enforcement and the black community.

Your home for the Tokyo Olympics!