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Meet Nominee Patrolman First Class India Taylor

By September 11, 2018 No Comments

“You have the ability to affect change, even if it’s just one person.”

For Patrolman First Class India Taylor, law enforcement was always her back up plan. She originally wanted to play basketball in the WNBA, but knew she could excel elsewhere if she didn’t make it in the professional basketball world. It’s a great thing for a group of boys at Saluda River Academy for the Arts that she wound up in law enforcement instead.

Her nomination states, “PFC Taylor created a group known as the Bobcat Boys at Saluda River Academy for the Arts. This group caters to at-risk males that attend the school… each week, the boys meet with PFC Taylor and go over proper etiquette when meeting new people and how to dress.”

Bobcat Boys started with PFC Taylor just wanting to help out one student that was continually sent to her office for being a class clown and for not doing his homework. But PFC Taylor noticed that there might be something more going on—his physical appearance was poor, his hair was matted, his clothing was soiled, and his shoes were on the wrong feet. In order not to single him out, she had a friend who was a barber offer free haircuts at the school, and 15 boys showed up.

“The kids told the barber their life stories,” PFC Taylor said. “Afterwards, I went to Walmart and spent $8 on a shirt and tie. You’d be amazed at what a shirt and tie can do to a kid’s self-esteem. These kids were like a fraternity, we created a little brotherhood. I chose Monday for the boys to wear their shirts and ties and when they do, they walk differently and their attitude is different. It only took $8 to do that. I started bringing in a guest speaker to talk to them, but they couldn’t participate if they acted out during the week. That gave them motivation to behave in class. It cut down on their bad behavior. I wasn’t expecting it to be this big—the only thing I wanted to do was help that one kid.”

Giving back has always been important to PFC Taylor. She didn’t have many role models in her family and was the first to graduate high school and the first to go to college. The Bobcat Boys isn’t a law enforcement thing—it’s just a way that PFC Taylor has found to give back to the community and be a positive role model for those who are in need of one.

About the Officer Gregory Alia Award
Serve & Connect was founded by Kassy Alia in memory of her husband, Greg Alia, who was killed in the line of duty on September 30th, 2015. This prestigious annual award is named in his honor and recognizes an outstanding officer who demonstrates a commitment to serve his/her community with respect and compassion; one who goes above the call of duty to ensure that members of the community are protected, cared for, and feel valued; one who treats all members of the community as equal and who employed their role with thoughtfulness and tact; and who through everyday interactions builds a safer community for all. The award is presented at our annual event, the Knight of Honor Gala, which will be held on September 28, 2018 in Columbia, SC.