LOS ANGELES, Calif. (FOX 11) - Ryan Tillman didn't like police much as a youngster and never imagined becoming an officer himself. He grew up in a neighborhood where he was consistently stopped by police officers for simply walking down the street. This grew into a distrust of law enforcement, which later manifested into his calling, working to change modern day policing. He's very good at connecting with the community that he serves with the Chino Police Department, and now he's on a mission to build trust and have people see a real caring person behind the badge.
Tillman said, "You don't need to be a fan of police officers. You don't need to like police officers, but the next time that critical incident happens, just be able to get in all the information before you make an assumption of what happened."
Tillman hasn't always been on the side of cops. Before becoming an officer, he had a problem with them.
Tillman told FOX 11, "I used to always say police officers were guys that used to get picked on in high school, so they became police officers so they could pick on everybody else. So, that was kind of my perception."
While Tillman loves being a police officer, he has no problem speaking out against bad police officers. "That's why officers get a bad rap, because they say we have the brotherhood. Well, I'm not afraid to call out a bad officer, but I'm also not afraid to stand up for officers when they've done the right thing."
Tillman does presentations at schools across the country. At one of the schools, they started a program called "Chosen" where kids who want to become police officers are being mentored by Tillman.
For more information, visit the Breaking Barriers United website.