Paul Nelson was born October 26, 1974. He has been a Police Officer with the SHPD for eleven years and a Sergeant for the past 1 ½ years. Prior to this he was an NYS Corrections Officer at Sing Sing in Ossining. He has spent over eleven years in the US Naval Reserves as a Petty Officer 2nd Class with the Navy Police. He is married and has one child. In addition he is a Member of Westchester Rockland Guardians Association and the Ezar (Masonic) Lodge 281 in Harlem.
I have always been proud of the fact that I was born and raised in Harlem (Manhattan). I overcame many obstacles to get where I am in life today. This would not have been possible without a helping hand, and my helping hand was a loving family. I have always had a passion for reaching out to today’s youth to share my life story, and how I was drawn to law enforcement. I spent the early years of my career as an NYS Corrections Officer talking to inner city youths at public schools in NYC. I did this on my days off. Since becoming a Police Officer I noticed that off-duty I would find myself thinking about different people that I would encounter during my tours of duty. For one reason or another these people made an impression on me. I realized that I was handling the business of being a Police Officer, but the spiritual business was not being completed. I recently decided that I was going to give back in some form or fashion to the residents I have served for over 10 years. All of the money I spend at this point comes from my own pocket. That makes it even more special to me. I have dubbed it my CARES Project. (I have no legal rights to the name, but it stands for Cops Abling Residents.) For some time now I have been thinking about two residents in the Village, one of whom is an all-around good person. He resides in a rooming home in Sleepy Hollow. He waves to me on patrol, and assisted me years ago when I went on a noise complaint call. I’ve also heard good things about the kind of person he is to others. With the help of Nicky Bell and the people at J.P. Doyle’s, I bought this resident a dinner for two (including appetizers, entrees, drinks, dessert, and gratuities). Ironically I tracked him down at the Salvation Army, where he was preparing to help them collect donations for the holiday season. It was there that I told him how he has made such an impression on me, and awarded him the dinner for two. The second resident I first encountered years ago as a rookie, and have seen him around the Village so many times while I was on patrol. He has a family, and one of his family members has a serious medical ailment. This guy goes above and beyond for his family, it seems, and instantly made an impression on me. He just seemed like he was dealing with so much and yet he still perseveres. I met him at his job in White Plains and gave him a $100 C-Town gift certificate just prior to Thanksgiving. I wanted to make it just a little easier for him and his family to enjoy their holiday. I’m now looking to reach out to another resident who is an extremely hard worker. She works at least three jobs that I know of. I plan on making contact with her before Christmas to hopefully put a smile on her face. I have not written anything down on paper or set any requirements regarding my giving back. I would just rather it come from the heart and be spontaneous right now, and I will see what it morphs into. This is not just a seasonal thing, I plan on doing this all year round. Hopefully this will afford me the opportunity of getting to know the residents better, and more importantly to be a role model for the children in the community. I ultimately want to reach the youth, and make a positive impression on them. I understand the challenges they face, but I am living proof that they can overcome them and be a success story