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Kenny Taylor with a friend

Protecting his community

At just 25 years old, SUNY CCC graduate Kenny Taylor ’13 is a member of the largest police department in the country: the NYPD. This position allows Kenny to fulfill his childhood dream of protecting his hometown community: he grew up in the Bronx.

Kenny took the test to become a police officer in 2013, but he did not hear anything back for four years. Instead, he received his associate’s degree in physical education from SUNY CCC before enrolling at the City College of New York. He graduated in June 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. He was working at his local gym after graduation when he received an email asking if he was still interested in joining the NYPD.

It was perfect timing. He entered the police academy and became a patrol officer. When the record-breaking low temperatures last winter began impacting the people in his community, it didn’t take long for Kenny to step up and help.

“A man came into the precinct to ask if we had any coats we were giving away,” said Kenny. “I told him to come back the next day and I would have a coat for him. I went home that night and grabbed one of my coats and gave it to him the next morning.”

People may consider it a small act of kindness. But for Kenny, it meant that one less person was cold that winter. It also reminded him that he chose the right career path.

“He hugged me and called me his hero,” said Kenny. “It’s been my greatest moment as a police officer so far.”

One of his goals is to help improve the NYPD’s reputation.

“I want to be part of the change,” said Kenny. “I want to make people say that they were wrong about police officers.”

Kenny spends his days responding to 911 calls as a patrol officer.

“I never have the same day twice, and that’s what I love about the job,” said Kenny. “I’m always interacting with different people and businesses in the community.”

Police officers must be able to think quickly, while remaining calm in tense situations. Kenny credits SUNY CCC for teaching him how to slow down and think before making a decision.

“Growing up in the city means you have to think on the fly, and sometimes you will make a decision before you’ve had time to think about the consequences,” said Kenny. “[SUNY] CCC taught me how to take a step back, slow down and evaluate my decision before I make it.”

At nearly five and a half hours away from NYC, SUNY CCC offered Kenny a chance to experience a different atmosphere. He was also able to play college basketball.

“Attending a community college outside of the city gave me a chance to focus more on my school work,” said Kenny. “It also allowed me to be a student athlete, which was one of the best experiences of my life.”

At SUNY CCC, basketball turned into more than Kenny’s passion. Being a student athlete molded him into a responsible person with good time-management skills.

“Playing a sport in college is a full-time job and you have to do well in academics too,” said Kenny. “Being involved in athletics taught me how to create balance in my life.”

Kenny’s goal is to become a NYS trooper so he can offer his help to other areas of the state. In the meantime, he wants to help as many people as possible and take the required tests to move up the ranks of the NYPD.

“I just want to make the people around me feel comfortable and know they can come to me with their problems,” said Kenny.