John Jay professor Dr. Keith Taylor is a modern day Harlem renaissance man

Dr. Keith Taylor does not fashion himself a police expert, even if media outlets like CNN and Newsweek love to bring him on as one.

“Out of humility, I have never called myself an expert, they started doing that,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a really good moniker because it’s hard to be an expert at something.

“And let’s say someone is good at an aspect of computing, would you call them an expert on computing? No, because there’s so many different aspects of computing that it’s certainly impossible for one person to be a master of all.”

So the John Jay College of Criminal Justice adjunct prefers to be a man of many talents. For one, he’s an educator, with rave reviews on RateMyProfessor.com. Then there’s Taylor’s work on protecting local landmarks with Community Board 10’s Harlem Preservation Program. He’s even trying his hand in politics, lasting until the ninth round of the Democratic primary for the District 9 City Council seat in 2021.

But it’s not hard to see why people insist on calling Taylor a police expert. Name a law enforcement job and he’s probably worked it during his three decades of public service. Taylor initially started as a foster care caseworker in Harlem after graduating from Howard. But he was curious about police work and the salary increase didn’t hurt. Taylor hit the ground running, stopping a bank robbery within two weeks of graduating the NYPD Academy.

Since then, he policed ​​schools, worked undercover for three years, was promoted to sergeant and got transferred to internal affairs. On 9/11, Taylor was on the missing persons detective squad, helping reunite lost family members and providing closure to loved ones of those killed. He also worked on SWAT-type tactical operations in the Emergency Services Unit and wrapped up his career as an assistant commissioner in the Department of Corrections.