WASHINGTON — Officer Hakim Tate is a third-generation native Washingtonian from what he considered one of the “toughest” neighborhoods known as Trinidad.
“I used to get into some trouble as a kid, but you know that's all a part of me and kind of part of, you know, what I've become,” he told WUSA9.
Officer Tate went from being a kid sometimes running from trouble to an officer rushing toward it.
“Just being amongst that law enforcement culture, when it was suppressive during the time that grew up, was a -- it was a tough decision to make,” Officer Tate explained.
The 37-year-old first joined the DC Police Department to provide for his family but quickly learned his badge would serve a much deeper purpose.
Officer Tate mainly works on community engagement by going into schools to connect with youth, playing in the department's band, and participating in other community events.
He used his passion for working with children to create two children’s’ books.
Officer Tate’s first book called, ‘God Bless the Mother,’ focused on reminding kids how important their moms are.
His latest book, The Twin’s Adventure: A Race with an Officer Friendly, explores the relationship between police and the community.
“Understanding the culture and being a part of the culture -- it gives me a personal responsibility to give back,” Officer Tate explained.
He admitted that the culture between law enforcement and communities of color is sometimes strained in cities across the country.
“That was the culture and that's what I saw,” Officer Tate said. “Just not being in uniform was not the only way for me to affect change and to create other ideas of what the police culture should look like. I can do that through a book.”
Officer Tate described he is pushing his community forward by encouraging people who look like him to help protect the culture by stepping into roles and being responsible for their own community.