Where were you born and raised?
I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. I attended Ladue High School class of 1989
What is your occupation?
Overland Park Police Department- Public Information Officer. I have been a police officer for 27 years.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
I have two favorite childhood memories. I remember having dinner (every night) with my family gathered around the table. We talked about social issues, news, religion, and school. Also loved hanging out with my friends in the neighborhood playing football, baseball and basketball.
What does Black History Month mean to you?
Black History is the one month out of the year we recognize and acknowledge African American Achievements. The church I attended made sure black history was not only acknowledge in February, but throughout all twelve months of the year. Each Sunday there was a featured African-American regarding their achievements. Our family also had Ebony and Jet magazines which focused on African-American social issues.
What do you believe is the most important issue currently facing the Black community?
The most important issue other than COVID is lack of resources. The resources I am referring to are in education and employment. I believe the educational systems is more important than the two. In the suburbs the education opportunity, facilities, equipment are better compared to the inner city.
When did you realize you were Black in America and what has that meant for your life?
I have always known I was black in America. My parents made me aware of this at a very young age. My parents taught me how to conduct myself at all times and adapt but always stay alert. I am proud of who I am. I am proud of who I have become.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration to push for change?
As a black police officer I feel law enforcement must do a better job in connecting with the black community. There is still a lack of trust in the black community regarding the police. To mend the trust law enforcement needs to push the Community Policing agenda to the forefront. Officers getting to know their community, community leaders, attending social events is a start but we as law enforcement must stay consistent in doing this. Officers need to be involved with mentoring programs and more active in the community. Their will be some in the community that will resist but law enforcement must keep trying.
How have you supported or contributed to the local Black community?
I privately mentor two African American males for several years now. When I first came into their life their fathers were not around and they had no male role model. These two men still call and text me for guidance and advice. I feel each person can give a little and it will impact the community. Contributing to the black community has ALWAYS been a must in my family.