When I was a child, I always had issues with feeling lost. I had a mother that left me with my grandparents to be raised. She was 15 years old and dealing with substance abuse throughout her life.
My father was also young, dealing with substance abuse and not in the picture. I had the best grandparents that anyone could have, but they were biologically, not mine. My mother was adopted by those grandparents. I found this out at a young age, and it shook me.
Throughout my life, I struggled with not being connected. To have a village, a tribe, a biological lineage that was mine. Whose blood was running through my veins? Why did I make the decisions I made or the passions I had? What DNA was fueling me? These questions followed me into my 30’s.
Growing up, I always had this sense of justice. Of wanting to be Superman and to save people. In 5th grade, I decided being a police officer was the way to do it. I followed this passion into becoming a Peoria police officer. I then became a police officer for Peoria Public Schools. My passion for the job helped me to soon attain the rank of Chief of our department in just 11 years with Peoria Public Schools.
With a mother and father who had substance abuse issues and were in and out of jail or prison, why did I go this way? At times, it made me feel like a fluke or mistake. That one day, the truth that I wasn’t supposed to be this Chief people called me would come out.
One year as Chief, I found out that I was no fluke. This was indeed in my DNA, my lineage, my history. I found that my great grandfather John Arthur Davis, was a county constable and deputy sheriff for Peoria (1953-1985). One of the few African American Police officers at that time. In speaking to my blood relatives on my father’s side, they speak so highly of him. How respected he was and how he had a passion for his craft. He was a beloved husband, father, and grandfather. He indeed was a Superman, and his great-grandson was carrying out his legacy.