Officer shares his experience in the line of duty - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Officer shares his experience in the line of duty

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After two officer-involved shootings recently in Peoria that department has come under scrutiny.

In one case the officers were cleared of any wrongdoing. The other case remains under investigation.

25 News was curious how these cases impact officers themselves and their abilities to do their jobs. 

25 News spoke to an officer who was not involved in either of those incidents.

Officer Dramane Taylor is with the Washington Police Department. 

He offered a glimpse into what it means to be in the line of duty these days. 

"I wanted to help people. It was never about how many arrests I could make," he said.

Taylor has been with the department for three years and said he felt it was a calling, even knowing the risks involved.

"Every time I step out those doors of my home, heading to work, it very well could be the last time," Taylor stated. 

He added: "Any time I put on this uniform, I know I'm in danger at that point."

Taylor said he never knows what his day will bring. It could start out as a simple traffic stop where a driver has a gun or a domestic violence call that takes a dangerous turn.

"Nobody actually knows what it is like to actually be in our shoes," he said. 

His overall goal, he said, is to make a positive impact through connection and relationships, like seeing a group of kids playing basketball and stopping to join them. 

"We are people as well. The safety of the community and ourselves is very important," he stated. 

Of course with questionable officer-involved incidents making news nationwide, he understands the public might sometimes be suspicious.

He warns that the cameras do not always capture everything.

"We never get the full story," Taylor said. 

"You have to understand it from our standpoint; that, yes, we do want to go home at night and if we are getting information that there is a possible weapon involved, we have to be as safe as possible. Not only for ourselves but for them as well because I am sure they want to go home as well," he stated. 

Officer Taylor said he thanks God every day when he makes it home safe. He also told 25 News his family and close friends have concerns about his safety on a daily basis and constantly check in on him. 

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