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Police Officer Joseph Floyd Taylor | Grand Rapids Police Department, Michigan Grand Rapids Police Department, Michigan

Police Officer

Joseph Floyd Taylor

Grand Rapids Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch: Monday, November 17, 1986

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 29

Tour: 6 years

Badge # 117

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Sentenced to life

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Officer Taylor was shot and killed while he and other officers searched a home for a murder suspect. As he was searching the upstairs he was ambushed by the suspect from behind a door. The suspect shot Officer Taylor twice and then surrendered to other officers.

The suspect was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.

Officer Taylor had served with the agency for 6 years and was assigned to the Burglary Unit. He was survived by his wife, parents, and three siblings.

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Six years prior to his death, Joe was a police officer with the Western Michigan University Department of Public Safety. That is where I met him and we became friends. Western was a typical college culture with no real criminal activity being a persistent problem. Joe longed for the responsibilities of a "real" police officer. He asked if he would be better suited for a more challenging police department and I said he was.

He joined the Grand Rapids Police Department and the next time I saw him, I was among the many law enforcement officers who attended his funeral. His death promoted me to add him to the many I hold close in my guilt of having survived sixteen years as a police officer. I had told him to go and many times, I wished I had not. He would have gone anyway to follow his passion and that was being a police officer.

Robert L. Clemmons
November 22, 2013


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