Sergeant shares story of being a Black man in policing
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A Nottinghamshire officer has spoken about some of the challenges he’s faced as a Black man during his two decades in policing.
By his own admission some of Sergeant Jerone Taylor’s family and friends were wary when he told them he was planning to join the force 17-and-a-half years ago.
That decision to become an officer had been inspired by another one of his mentors growing up in the form of his childhood karate teacher PC Dennis Stewart – who himself worked for Nottinghamshire Police at the time.
After overcoming a number of challenges during his time with the force as well as concerns from some of his loved ones about policing not being a career for Black people, Sgt Taylor has himself tried to challenge those misconceptions.
“I’d just like to say first of all that policing is for everyone,” he said.
“When I originally joined policing, some friends and family members were a little bit sceptical about me joining, almost thinking that it wasn’t a career for Black people.
“I’m not going to stand here and say policing is perfect, because it’s not, but which organisation is?
“I’ll be honest, policing has definitely presented some challenges for me along the way and at times earlier in my career, I did actually think about leaving.
"But I'm glad that I'm still here and what I will say now is being an officer for over 17 years, the majority of times have been fun, really entertaining and rewarding.”
After spending 13-and-a-half years at Leicestershire Police, Sgt Taylor joined Nottinghamshire Police four years ago and is now stationed at Bulwell Police Station as part of the City North Neighbourhood Policing team.
He now has ambitions of one day becoming an inspector after passing the College of Policing's national police promotion framework (NPPF) inspectors' exam back in May.
Sgt Taylor added: “I grew up in Sherwood and am Nottingham born and bred, so I’m actually really passionate about policing this area as I know it really well.
“In terms of wanting to become a police officer, I watched The Bill as a child, so that kind of gave me an idea of what the role entailed, while my karate instructor was also a police officer.
"PC Dennis Stewart sadly died in 2015 but he taught me karate from the age of eight through to 16. He often used to come round and see me in his police car, turn the sirens on and pretend to the neighbours that he was arresting me, so that kind of gave me the insight and the inspiration to join.”
Sgt Taylor, who himself is the Vice Chair of the Nottinghamshire Black Police Association, elected to tell his story as part of Black History Month, which runs throughout October, and as part of this, he explained why the month is so important to him.
He said: “My grandparents were part of the Windrush generation, coming to England in the early 1960s. I know first-hand the challenges they faced and unfortunately, I know Black people are still facing some challenges today.
“Black History Month is really important because it gives people an opportunity to reflect and understand the troubles Black people have been through.
“I know Nottinghamshire police is working really hard to build bridges with the Black community.
“I’d definitely recommend policing as a career. It’s a job for life and is a great, wide-ranging profession, so whatever your interests are, whether you’re a hands-on type of person or you have more of an investigative mindset, you can definitely explore lots of different options within policing.
“Just give it a try. What have you got to lose? Like myself, if you give it that opportunity, you might really enjoy it.”
As part of the Black History Month celebrations, Nottinghamshire Police and its partners will be holding its annual Black History Month community event at the Brendon Lawrence Sports Centre, in Hungerhill Road, St Ann’s, this Saturday (7 October).
Running from 2pm-5pm, a series of activities are planned for the fun-filled free event, including a live DJ, a series of performances, entertainment and activities – not to mention a selection of free Caribbean food and a raffle.
Nottinghamshire Police is also one of the only forces in the country currently providing Black history training for all its officers and staff, with the mandatory sessions also being added to the induction courses for all new starters.