TPD patrolman becomes first black officer to receive badge number one

Officer Dana Slay has been on the police force for 33 years.
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 8:48 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A patrolman for the Toledo Police Department has become the first Black officer to be presented with badge number one.

Officer Dana Slay, the highest-ranking TPD patrolman who joined the police department in 1990, was presented with the pin by her daughter, who had the honor of pinning badge number one on her mother.

Slay said she’s proud to wear her uniform and to make history.

“And this honor is for TPD. Every black person out there,” said Slay. “Everyone, I stand here before you for you and for young people to see that you can do it too.”

Slay spent 10 years on the streets and then moved to the community services division.

“See a lot of people think community services, you’re just playing kickball and tiddlywinks for kids, but, I don’t know, it’s much more than that,” said Slay. “So you’re doing that, you’re out there solving a lot of issues within the city and in the communities. Plus, you might have to do some street work,” Slay said.

That street work sometimes included Slay’s passions, one of which is mentoring youth.

“They are our future, and if we don’t talk to them, then who will,” said Slay.

Since being with the department, Slay has worked under eight different police chiefs.

“I’m proud of just being a hometown girl working for her hometown police department making a difference in the lives of citizens in the city,” said Slay.

She also has some advice for the new officers who are joining the force.

“Respect yourself, respect the people that you serve out in the city because you ain’t no better than them,” said Slay. “The only thing is that you wear a uniform and carry a gun and you got restrictions on that. So you respect them until they warrant otherwise and then when they warrant otherwise respect them again.”

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