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Urbandale Police Officer Shane Taylor and his partner were called to a breakin at a West Des Moines house last year. It was a dicey situation: the suspects were still in the house and were believed to be armed.
The decision was made to send in Taylor’s partner, Sabre.
“It was a lot safer sending the dog in,” said Taylor, who nevertheless felt nervous. He was wearing a bulletproof vest, but the German shepherd had no such protection.
“We knew there were people in the house and there were firearms, so the Kevlar would have been good,” said Taylor.
The Riverside police officer struck by lightning while helping with the Joplin tornado died this morning at a Springfield hospital. Jefferson “Jeff” Taylor, who volunteered to go to Joplin, was 31 years old. He is the first Riverside officer ever to die in the line of duty.
“We are heartbroken,” Riverside Police Chief Greg Mills said today in a statement. “Our department, our community and law enforcement as a whole have lost a dedicated professional doing what he did best — helping those who were in need. The fragility of life gives way to the enduring spirit Jeff showed to us all. Our department will never be the same.”
A former beat cop crossed paths with dozens of kids while on patrol at a Bronx housing project in the late 1970s.
At 73, Anthony Mango barely remembers their faces – let alone their names. But he made such an impression on one 10-year-old that the boy grew up and followed his footsteps right into the NYPD.
Kevin Taylor, now a lieutenant, has finally been reunited with Mango 26 years after they first slapped high-fives at the St. Mary’s Park Houses.
“I wanted to tell him ‘thank you,’” the teary-eyed Taylor said.
Mango changed assignments while Taylor was still a boy and the two lost touch. The older cop retired in 1987, before Taylor joined the force, so he had trouble finding him. That changed once the Bronx kid became a cop.
“I thought now that I am in the Police Department, I can find him,” said Taylor, recalling his thoughts when he joined the force 14 years ago.
Taylor, who is black, was raised by a single mom and had few positive male role models as a scrawny kid. Now he’s a hulking 200-pound man reduced to tears when he thinks about the encouraging words that helped him stay out of trouble.
The Manhattan lieutenant remembers Mango, one of the few white faces he saw at the public housing project, walking him across the street to the store. And he remembered the beat cop telling him to stay away from the bad kids.
“In life, color of the skin doesn’t matter,” Mango used to tell Taylor. “It’s what’s inside that counts.”
When Broadway star Terri White performs her show-stopper “Necessity” every night in “Finian’s Rainbow,” she knows what she’s singing about.
A year ago, she was homeless and sleeping on a bench in Washington Square Park – and, but for a beat cop who cared, she might still be there.
White, who sings out lines like “the landlord says the rent ain’t paid” in front of 1,700 people at the St. James Theatre, couldn’t share her troubles with Liza Minnelli, for whom she has sung backup at Radio City Music Hall.
Some of those bars have closed, like Eighty-Eights and Rose’s Turn. Most of the others just ain’t what they used to be.
“People wanted ‘American Idol,’ ” White, 61, says. “They wanted ’80s pop. My stuff is musical theater, torch songs . . . you tell a story. I don’t do vocal trickery.”
No. No ego fireworks here. Just eruptions from a great soul, in powerful, raspy bursts that tell you this lady knows the blues.
Things got really bad last year. White couldn’t pay the bills. Her partner of 14 years threw her out. She couldn’t get a gig.
“I can’t tell you how many times I auditioned,” White says. “Chicago” rejected her eight times.
“I was depressed, and it zapped my positive energy, and I think they felt that,” White explains. “I thought I was over.”
She was on the street. Guys who’d bummed smokes off her outside the clubs watched out for her. Still, it was dangerous.
She would catnap on a Washington Square Park bench for an hour, then wander the narrow streets of the Village for another.
On one of those walks down Grove St., she bumped into 6th Precinct cop David Taylor.
“I was on patrol at around 4 in the morning. It was early fall, and it was chilly,” Taylor says.
“I was coming up Grove and I saw her coming down Seventh Ave. South. She came over to the car.”
They’d seen each other around the neighborhood for a couple of years.
“I first met Terri in 2006 when I was on foot patrol. She was immediately friendly and called out, ‘Hello, Officer! Thank you for protecting the Village!’
“I’d pop in to the clubs. She has a really booming, powerful voice. She was always smiling and happy.”
That’s how Taylor knew something was very wrong. “That life force which had always been inside her was gone,” he recalls.
White opened up to him in a way she couldn’t to Liza.
“Speaking softly, she told me she was homeless. It caused a little bit of panic in me, because the park had a lot of drug dealers.”
She’d been on the streets three months. Rather than refer her to a shelter and drive on, Taylor, started calling in some chits.
“I started texting immediately. I had just helped this guy move stuff out of a basement apartment. I asked him if Terri could use a room until she got on her feet. He said okay.”
His action set off others, like one magnet clicking to the next.
She got it! Producer Alan Marks heard her sing and hired her for the Broadway show.
Now there’s Tony buzz. People magazine. TV. Then White and Barnett fell in love, and two weeks ago they exchanged rings on the St. James stage with White’s never-give-up motto of perseverance: “Just Go!”
Taylor, who has the giant kind of soul that makes New York great, was there, beaming.
How’s that for a happy ending?
By Joanna Molloy
Roko, the Canton police dog who served from 2000 until retiring in 2007, died Saturday from an infection, Police Chief Dan Taylor reported Tuesday at a meeting of the city council’s Mechanical Committees.
Taylor said the death was unfortunate. He noted Roko’s handler was police Sgt. Mike Eveland.
Taylor also noted a 10-week program for the police department’s latest K-9 officer, Jack, will start Monday. He said the dog will be trained for narcotics investigations, building searches, apprehension and other duties.
The police department’s current active K-9 officer is named Halo. Both dogs will be in service after Jack completes his training.
Wow, it’s so great that Officer Taylor’s co-workers & friends want to honor his memory this way.
Riding in an unmarked car with another officer, Chicago Police Sgt. Mel Roman didn’t make much conversation.
Blue lights blinked as they passed police vehicles blocking the streets all the way from Advocate Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn to the Cook County morgue on the West Side. Officers stood at attention in front of their squads.
Ahead of Roman and Officer Brian Humpich in the procession was the ambulance carrying their colleague, Officer Nate Taylor, who’d been fatally shot serving a search warrant 12 hours earlier. On that cool fall night, Roman and the other officers from Taylor’s narcotics section insisted they be the ones to escort him from the hospital.
Roman, 42, called the moment among his proudest as an officer. He also felt sad and angry. And helpless.
Nearly one year later, Roman, Humpich and other officers have again mobilized but this time to raise money for Taylor’s 6-year-old daughter, Naomi, whom Taylor dreamed of one day sending to an Ivy League school.
“To think that Naomi will live her life with a huge void because of the risk Nate accepted and unfortunately realized is unacceptable,” Roman said. “To be quite honest, I feel a sense of guilt in that we place our families in that predicament. With this benefit, we are attempting to soften the loss.”
Taylor, 39, was killed last September while executing a search warrant on a felon in the 7900 block of South Clyde Avenue. Lamar Cooper, 37, allegedly fired a gun he was holding in his lap as the officers approached the car. Taylor was fatally hit as his partner returned fire.
It was the kind of tragic instant that officers — especially those who work undercover while investigating some of Chicago’s more dangerous criminals — know could happen any time.
“Sometimes even when you do everything right, things go wrong,” Roman said. “We … cannot protect ourselves 100 percent and still do this job.”
From the time Taylor left the hospital, he was never without a member of the narcotics section.
“We refused to leave his side,” Roman said. “We wanted to be able to tell his [immediate] team that he was never left alone without someone from narcotics, not even for a moment.”
Humpich, who could see a paramedic in the ambulance sitting with Taylor, said the solemn procession was not about saying goodbye. There would be time for that later at the wake. Taylor was still very much with them this night, and on his last ride as an officer, he shouldn’t be alone, Humpich thought.
“It was ‘Hey, I am going to take care of you and I am going get you where you need to be,’ ” said Humpich, 32. “This is doing the same thing he would have done.”
When they arrived at the morgue at 2121 W. Harrison St., the officers prayed. And then Taylor was taken inside, the officers said.
In the wake of the shooting, Taylor was remembered by many for his easy smile and kind demeanor. He was also known for his love of Naomi.
Taylor’s plans for Naomi started even before she was born, said Monlade Gogins, Naomi’s mother. He talked of sending her to Catholic schools and an Ivy League college and eventually started a college fund to pay for it.
“From the time she was inside of me, he was talking about her financial future,” Gogins said.
Officers view Sunday’s benefit at 115 Bourbon Street restaurant in Merrionette Park as a way to honor Taylor’s commitment to the dangerous work he chose as well as to finish what he started — making sure his daughter’s financial needs were met.
Knowing that someone will step up and take care of loved ones left behind eases many of the fears officers have about losing their own lives, said Deputy Chief Nick Roti of the organized-crime division.
“Most police officers are family people,” Roti said. “They grew up in middle-class homes with strong family values.
“Most people worry more about your families than you do yourself.”
Proceeds from the benefit will be put into a trust that Naomi can access as an adult or that she can tap into for emergency expenses.
Members of the Canton Police Department have selected the department’s newest K-9, Jack.
Traveling to Denver, Ind. to select Jack were Canton Police Chief Dan Taylor, former K-9 officers Deputy Chief Rick Nichols and Sgt. Mike Eveland, current K-9 officer Matt Freehill, and new K-9 officer Ryan Demott.
The selection process began on Wednesday, Aug. 5 and was complete by Thursday, Aug. 6.
Demott explains he is very proud to serve as the new K-9 officer and is anxious to begin training at the end of this month. Training is for a 10-week period at the Illinois State Police K-9 training academy.
Chief Taylor says he is excited to have Demott as the new K-9 officer and that it is beneficial to have Freehill and Demott work and train together.
Taylor explains that a good part of the money to purchase Jack has come from the Drug Asset Forfeiture Fund. The remaining money has come from generous donations from individuals and businesses, says Taylor. “The dogs are used to find drugs which in turn brings additional dollars into the forfeiture fund.”
Taylor explains that Canton is very fortunate to have two police K-9s. “The dogs will help increase the coverage and presence which the police department can provide to the community,” says Taylor, who explains the nearest K-9 units are from the Illinois State Police out of Macomb.
When training is complete, Demott and K-9 Jack will have training as a K-9 team and be state certified in narcotics detection, tracking, area and article search, and in handler protection.
Demott and Jack will spend the rest of this month on the essential bonding process before formal Illinois State Police training begins.
Demott is excited that when Jack is ready, the department will have two K-9s on the street, providing double the coverage.
According to information from the selection team, Jack was chosen from dogs at Vohne Liche Kennels. The facility has sold dogs to over 2,000 law enforcement and government agency dogs, including NSA, U.S. Army, U.S. State Department, and the Pentagon Police force.
Past Canton Police Department K-9′s Grando and Roko both were selected from those kennels, based on recommendations from the Illinois State Police K-9 Division.
Retired Terre Haute, Ind., narcotics officer and full time director and trainer at Vohne Liche Kennels, Dan Parker, met with the Canton delegation. Parker holds several state and national certifications and recently has traveled to Afghanistan to train Afghani police with certified explosive detection dogs.
Demott and the others began their process on Wednesday, Aug. 5 with a tour of the facility which consists of several buildings and kennels containing 167 dogs of various breeds. Most of the dogs at the facility are hand selected by Vohne Liche’s staff and flown in from Europe.
The Canton officers evaluated several dogs, including German Shepherds, Dutch Shepherds, and Belgian Malinois.
Canton Mayor Kevin Meade stopped by the facility during the evaluation to watch the selection process, watching as the dogs were put through the testing.
After working with several dogs, the Canton officers returned the next day and narrowed their selection to two dogs. Further evaluation helped the team determine that the best choice was Jack, a 14-month-old Hungarian-born Belgian Malinois.
Demott says that after evaluation, Jack was selected for his drive, apprehension ability, and socialization behaviors.
K-9 Jack has received prior training to become familiar with police-oriented work, states the selection team.
“That training showed that Jack has the potential to be an excellent police K-9,” says Demott.
Demott explains he researched Belgian Malinois prior to the selection process and found they have drive, strong work characteristics, and often have a longer life span. The Malinois breed are slightly smaller than the German Shepherd breed and reportedly have less hip and spine problems as they grow older, according to police department information.
A new police dog for Canton will be selected next week, and the officer to handle the K-9 has been named.
Police Chief Dan Taylor said Tuesday at a meeting of the city council’s Mechanical Committees that Officer Ryan Demott will handle the new dog to be chosen Wednesday, Aug. 5, at Von Liche Kennels in Indiana. Demott will have a few weeks to bond with the dog, and then K-9 training will begin Aug. 31 at the Illinois State Police Academy.
Taylor said funding for the new K-9 unit will be covered through a Project Safe Neighborhood grant of $3,700, a donation of $2,000 from the local police union, drug forfeiture account monies, and donations from the community. Kennel supplies already have been obtained, he noted.
Taylor also reported arrests for June this year were up at 138 compared to 68 in June 2008. Local police also issued 166 citations last month, up from 119 in June of last year.
The crime-fighting bedrock of Richmond’s East End is back, and this time, it’s for keeps.
John Henry Taylor, for years the mainstay of the Richmond police presence in the area, has taken up a prominent perch in Libby Hill Park — sort of.
Church Hill residents, searching for a way to honor the retired sergeant who they say did so much to transform their neighborhood into a safe place, decided he deserved to have a park bench named after him.
“Awful nice people,” said Taylor, who learned of the bench movement a few weeks ago and will attend this afternoon’s dedication. “There’s some really fine people up there in Church Hill.”
The bench is actually a large chunk of rock that the Richmond Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Facilities found at Ancarrow’s Landing along the south bank of the James River and chiseled into the shape of a large, rectangular box.
Monument company AP Grappone & Sons Inc. engraved a Richmond Police Department shield, complete with “54,” for Taylor’s badge number, into the bench seat. On the front of the bench is a three-line inscription:
“SERGEANT JOHN HENRY TAYLOR’S BENCH
HONORING HIS 25 YEARS OF ‘ABOVE & BEYOND’ SERVICE
GIVEN IN GRATITUDE BY THE CHURCH HILL CRIME WATCH — MAY 2009″
“It’s a great honor,” Taylor said. “But there were so many good policemen who have been with the city since it’s been here — and, of course, a lot of them have been killed in the line of duty — I’m just very humbled that they would do this for me.”
Shelby Long said Taylor helped her start Church Hill Crime Watch in 1986.
“In our first year, we had 134 home break-ins, three murders and two rapes,” Long said. “In three years, we cut that to 20 break-ins, no rapes and no murders.”
Long and Taylor said a basic component to reducing crime was getting the neighbors to cooperate with police. Both said the culture in the neighborhood had long dictated that residents would not talk to police because of fear of retaliation by criminals.
“When we found that the police officers would work with us,” Long said, “we lost our fear.”
For Taylor, it was a matter of putting in the time to listen to the residents. He also made sure anyone who wanted his after-hours contact numbers got them, and it wasn’t unusual for him to return to Church Hill after his shifts ended and put in extra hours on his own time, Long said.
“It was just like the sun was coming up,” Taylor said. “Before that, there was maybe no trust of the police. People would be scared to call the police or talk to the police. They were worried about retaliation and so forth, but when you work with these people, and they see you every day, after a while it’s like the mailman. He’s supposed to be here. And the criminals, they don’t like that.”
The residents of Church Hill and neighboring Fulton Hill didn’t like it when then-Police Chief André Parker decided to transfer Taylor to a headquarters night-shift desk job in 2003. Residents wrote to Parker, urging him to reconsider; he declined.
Taylor retired in February 2006, ending a 28-year career in which he received more than 200 commendations and medals of excellence from his superiors and the communities he policed. Those awards included a 1986 letter in which 70 Church Hill residents cited him as “an officer and a gentleman” and “the best damn cop we know.”
These days, Taylor, 62, pursues his love of history by doing volunteer genealogical research with a number of historical societies.
And, of course, he keeps in touch with a certain group of longtime acquaintances in Richmond’s East End, a group that arranged for him to have a bench with a sweeping view of the city he helped protect for so long.
“It’s just a neighborhood that pulls together,” Taylor said. “They look out for each other. They enjoy each other’s time together.
The Searcy Police Department has honored Detective Steve Taylor as the Officer of the Month for his hard work and dedication to the city of Searcy.
Taylor has been in law enforcement for 19 years. Four and a half years of his police work have been with the Searcy Police Department.
He has attended two years of college at Arkansas State University and Northern Michigan University.
Taylors favorite part about working as a detective is working with other officers and victims to resolve investigations.
His favorite part about working for the Searcy Police Department is working with a great bunch of police officers in a great community.
Searcy Police Departments Division Commander, Lt. Roger Pearson, said, Detective Steve Taylor is a very experienced officer, who brings a vast amount of law enforcement knowledge to the citizens of Searcy, and continues to excel in his field on a daily basis. Read more atarkansasmatters.com.