Brighton, NY Police Chief Mark Henderson
By Davy V.
Friday afternoon, I walked in to Brighton, NY Police Headquarters on Elmwood Avenue and asked to talk to Chief Mark Henderson.
I wanted to talk to the Chief about a personal matter involving my family.
A matter which I have chosen to keep private, at least for the time being.
His secretary Diane, a very courteous and professional woman told me the Chief was at lunch.
I told her I would wait.
She left briefly, then came back saying she had spoken to the Chief, and that he told her to tell me that he'd be back in 10 minutes.
Less than 5 minutes later, Chief Henderson pulled in the parking lot.
Less than 5 minutes after that, Chief Henderson greeted me with a firm handshake.
We walked into a room where we had a good talk for nearly a half hour.
Why I went to meet with Chief Henderson in the first place, has nothing to do with why I'm writing this.
This isn't about that.
This is about Chief Henderson.
Let me explain.
In my more than 20 years as a police accountability
activist, no police chief has ever shown me they are accessible, or that they gave a shit about hearing me out.
Not once, has a police chief given me the respect, of putting any obvious differences we may have aside, and meeting with me.
But Friday, that all changed.
Brighton, NY Police Chief Mark Henderson, who admitted he watches my YouTube channel DavyVTV, and who is a strong supporter of the First Amendment protected right to record, became the first police chief to be willing to sit down with me, a veteran police accountability activist, and do one of the most simple, and important things that a human being being can do for another human being--listen to them.
And for that, for being a man, and for showing me the respect of not only meeting with me, but perhaps more importantly, of listening, of hearing me out, I not only thank Chief Henderson, I commend him.
Brighton, NY Police Chief Mark Henderson during our closed door meeting.
I always tell officers to try to make every interaction with citizens, especially the youth, a positive one.
Whether it's getting out of their cruisers and throwing a football around, or waving to a young person as they drive by them, or giving kids a high five and a free Slurpee coupon like Brighton, NY Police Officer Mark Skidmore did with my daughter, I always tell officers to never underestimate just how much of an impact a positive interaction with a young person can have in that young person's life.
And just how much of positive impact that positive interaction can have when it comes to "community policing", a phrase that is thrown around so much, yet not really taken serious by most law enforcement agencies.
Well, if more police chiefs were like Brighton, NY Police Chief Mark Henderson, willing to take time out to show citizens that they care enough to meet with them and to listen, it would go a long way towards good relations between law enforcement and the citizens they have taken an oath to protect and serve.
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