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Syracuse native hope his new children's book helps police-community relations

A large auditorium with children face a stage.
Laddie Springer
Derrick Dotson reads his new book "The Police and Me" to students at Van Duyn Elementary, March 30, 2023.

Derrick Dotson realized that his voice could be a powerful one during the racial justice protests in 2020. His children’s book “The Police and Me” shows ways to foster positive relationships between members of the community and the police.  

“So, ‘The Police and Me’ is a book that I wrote to help parents be able to talk to their kids about law enforcement and I want it to be a conversation starter,” Dotson said.

Syracuse native and law enforcement veteran Derrick Dotson shared his new children’s book with students at Van Duyn Elementary School Thursday morning.

Dotson has been in law enforcement for over 19 years. He’s seen firsthand the fear that some people feel when interacting with police. But he sees his children’s book as a way to help mitigate those feelings.  

“Knowledge is going to overcome that fear, and so if they know more about it, they are going to be much more confident in approaching those situations," Dotson said.

Dotson is just starting to promote his book, and chose his hometown Syracuse as the first stop.  

"To come back here and be able to spread this message, especially knowing that there’s still issues between the community and law enforcement across the nation and even in here in Syracuse and to know that I can have an effect here, where I came up, means a lot,” Dotson said.

Dotson will also speak at the Teen March Madness event at the Tipperary Hill Community Center on Friday night. He’ll be in Syracuse through April 1.

Laddie is a graduate BDJ student at Syracuse University