NYPD Deputy Inspector Richie Taylor Promoted to Inspector: Known for His Personal Touch
By Yehudit Garmaise
After serving as an NYPD deputy inspector since last November, on Tuesday, Richie Taylor, who is the highest-ranked police officer to wear a kippa, was promoted to Full Inspector: a high rank that is granted by the police commissioner only to those officers who are thought to be worthy of promotion and are highly trusted.
Taylor’s tremendous accessibility, work ethic, and service to the community, stood out to NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea, who presided over Tuesday’s promotion ceremony at the Police Academy in Queens, and promoted Taylor in front of a cheering audience of 400, which had to be severely limited because of COVID.
While making his opening remarks, Commissioner Shea said, "So many people in front of me.
"I am looking at Richie Taylor. Richie: You are doing a phenomenol job."
After Shea presented Taylor with his new inspector's shield, the NYPD chiefs on the dais came over to the new Inspector to shake his hand, to hug him, and to wish him well.
Some of the higher profile incidents that Taylor recently coordinated were the response to the arson attack at Flatbush Yeshiva, the resolutions of the violent hate crimes that took place in Flatbush and Boro Park one Shabbos in May, and the search-and-rescue of 7-year-old Yosef Shapiro, who was lost in Carnasie Park for several hours in August.
Taylor’s colleagues and elected officials said that his reputation is that he is always there, when needed. Other officers say that Taylor is always reachable, he never shies away from work, and he always gets the job done.
“I don’t take my responsibilities lightly,” said Taylor, who sometimes gets around to all five boroughs in one day.
Taylor is known for his warm personal touch, and many in the neighborhood comment on his sincerity.
“My goal is to get along with everyone and treat everyone the way that I would want to be treated,” Inspector Taylor said. “I want to treat people fair and well and do what I can for each person.”
Sometimes, just the “little things” make a big difference to people, Taylor reflected.
“Just a smile, or a good word, goes such a long way to someone’s day and beyond,” said Inspector Taylor, who takes care to not only to use people’s names in conversations, but to pronounce them correctly, as he did with this reporter. “It is natural to me to call people by their names and to try to pronounce them correctly.
“You have a name, and it should be acknowledged and respected.”
Inspector Taylor, who so warmly remembers police officers visiting his elementary school that he makes it a point to go visit neighborhood schools, such as Ohr Shragalech in Marine Park, where today, Taylor went to teach children about “stranger danger” and safety.
Of course, the children are always excited to see a police officer who wears a kippa, and Inspector Taylor connects with students by first asking them whether they have any family members who volunteer for Hatzalah or other chesed organizations.
Taylor then asks for volunteers’ family names, so he can determine whether he knows them, which he usually does.
While a nice way to connect with students, working with chesed organizations, like Hatzolah, Misaskim, and Shomrim is what Inspector Taylor said he most enjoys about police work.
“It is all about teamwork,” said Inspector Taylor, who always promotes police work as a great job opportunity for members of the Jewish community.
“You can really help people every day. You can really be there to help community leaders and chesed organizations to provide services. We work in partnership for the K’lal.”
Taylor said what he loves most about his job are the opportunities he gets “to help people and families, in their darkest times.
“We can help them get through horrific situations or be there to support great things going on. You can really make a positive impact.”
While New York City Jews often feel more comfortable with a frum police officer “because they feel like there is someone who understands them,” Taylor said that even non-Jewish New Yorkers appreciate his presence.
“As New York City police officer,” Taylor said, “in a lot of ways, you are one of everyone. You are there for everyone. That is part of the Kiddush Hashem, of what we do.”
After expressing his gratitude to Shea and Chief of Community Affairs Jeffrey Maddrey for the position and promotion with which they have entrusted him, Taylor explained what he most learned from them, whom he described as “his true mentors.”
“I have learned from Commissioner Shea and Chief Maddrey that every day, as police officers, we have the blessing to give: our time, our resources, our advice, and our presence.
“We should always remember what a blessing it is to be a giver.”
Photo Credit: Reuvain Borchardt/Hamodia