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Officer Taylor speaks to HCC BLET Cadets

Roanoke Rapids Police Officer John Taylor spoke to Halifax Community College (HCC) Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) cadets April 5 on campus.

 Taylor polled the room asking what ages were represented, those who are married and/or have children, and what size departments sponsored different cadets. Then, he highlighted 2003 Department of Justice statistics for those same categories. In 2010, according to the statistics, 162 officers were killed. Of those, 73 involved automobile incidents/traffic enforcement and 61 involved firearms. The average age of those killed was 41, the average length of service was 12 years and most were married with two children.

 "I want to illustrate that the officers putting their lives on the line and are dying every year are officers just like all of you will become," explained Taylor. In 2011, 55 officers have died to date, which is up 15 percent this year so far. He also gave statistics regarding officers who wear body armor.

 "Unfortunately, you are always behind the eight ball. You can only react to what someone else doesÖYou canít prepare for every element of every possible situation," added Taylor, who then described the day he was shot during a traffic stop on I-95 last year. "I just thank God that I was wearing my vest."

 He encouraged cadets to take their training seriously because it could be the difference between life and death. "Everything you do in the academy, be it from the pushups you do in the morning to the classroom portion to the practical exercises, could come back to possibly save your life. If you donít believe it, wait until you get tested on it in the real world."

 "To me, because I had great support from the community and my friends and family and because I came out and Iím going to be okay, instead of something that has affected me negatively, itís a second chance at lifeÖI feel like I have the biggest fan club behind me rooting for me. This situation has made me feel better about myself and my future," Taylor said.

Officer Taylor speaks to HCC BLET Cadets

Roanoke Rapids Police Officer John Taylor talks to HCC BLET cadets, April 5.