DURHAM, N.C. – Durham Police Sgt. Jesse Green has been protecting and serving his hometown of Durham since 2005, joining the force after being inspired by his brother, who is a police chief, and cousin, who served the department for several years.
“I did a couple of ride-alongs with my cousin here and there, was no turning back after that,” he said.
Green spent the first several years working patrol, before moving to special operations and often doing undercover work. He was then promoted to a supervisor for the homicide division, followed by sergeant overseeing Durham’s District 3.
He says a big part of his mission is to connect with community members.
“It's important to continue to build law enforcement legitimacy through trust and the way that you treat people,” Green said. “So, during the times when there's not a crisis or not a crime in progress or something traumatic has happened, then that legitimacy plays a part. When that does happen, they remember that friendly face or that listening ear.”
While that work is rewarding, Green says he hopes to be a role model.
“Hopefully I would be a sense of inspiration to those that look like me, to young Black males,” Green said. “I do carry a sense of pride in that vein. It is pretty unique being a Black male as well as a police officer, knowing that history.”
“Growing up, my mom had a dear friend, a close friend, a co-worker as well. Her husband was one of the first Black detectives within the Durham Police Department. I thought that was amazing,” Green said.
When asked how he addresses people who may be scared to interact with law enforcement, Green said he tries to meet each individual where they’re at.
“I try to greet them as if I'm not responding as Sgt. Green, but as if I'm their counterpart,” he said. “I just try to meet them where they are and feel comfortable and greet them as if they were my friends or my family."
If you’re inspired to get into law enforcement, the Durham Police Department is reporting 114 vacancies out of 540 total positions, meaning 21% of its jobs are open.
The department is hosting a Basic Law Enforcement Training Academy that starts in August. Click here for more information.