HILTON, N.Y. (WROC) — “As a Black male in law enforcement, I see all sides,” says Corporal Taylor with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office. Cpl. Taylor attended a “courageous conversations” event Tuesday night for MCSO members at the First Bible Baptist Church in Hilton.
“I believe Black lives matter…I also believe blue lives matter.” Cpl. Taylor adds it’s important as law enforcement to look at everyone’s needs, both behind the shield and on the streets. He said the discussion on race in the ranks is a way to balance two worlds, and know it’s okay to have diverse views.
“We really can’t help the community unless we can help each other first,” says Janson McNair, Commander of MCSO Staff Services.
McNair helped facilitate the discussion and said since the death of George Floyd in Minnesota, he’s spent more time talking about race than he has on his 20-plus years on the force. This talk he feels was long overdue.
“Everyone has a different experience in law enforcement and in life, we thought it was a good idea to get together,” McNair said.
Tasha Potter with BTP Accountability Partners hosted the event. She said an off-duty safe space allowed for a more free dialogue. Potter said solutions to current race problems begin right here. “Having that diverse perspective, it absolutely helps to inform and influence how they work with one another, but more importantly, the community.
Cpl. Taylor said the way to achieve that delicate balance is for everyone in uniform to listen, and lead by example. “We need to make it cool to be a cop again, cool to be in law enforcement. I remember growing up it was awesome playing cops and robbers. I wanted to be the cop.”