Adventurous Girl From Ohio Leaves Reporter’s Desk To Patrol The Streets Of Toledo

Taylor Dungjen from Ohio was a successful crime reporter. Since she has always been into helping people, she switched her career from spotlighting urban crime to fighting it.  

Last year she graduated from the police academy and never regretted it.

Taylor was born in a family of journalists and followed in their footsteps

Photo: Taylor Dungjen/Facebook

Her father, mother, grandfather and aunt were journalists. She entered the University of Cincinnati and majored in journalism. Upon graduation, Dungjen became a night cop reporter.

The girl was not satisfied with it as she thought it was boring. The only part she liked was covering city crimes.

That adrenaline rush, being super-pumped — I just loved it,” she told CJR. 

In March 2011 Dungjen moved from Wadsworth to Toledo

There she  joined the Toledo Blade as a police reporter.

 Toledo, Ohio, is considered a city with high urban crime rate so Taylor had absorbed into the job immediately.

You don’t look like a cop
That don’t even make sense, man. Sit down.

She joined police officers on duty, investigated cases and was able to ask hard questions. That was exactly what she was looking for.

During her investigations for new reports, she discovered something interesting 

Photo: Photo: Taylor Dungjen/Facebook

Being attentive to details, the reporter noticed that gunplays were always concentrated in the same neighborhoods of Toledo. She wanted to help readers understand why some parts of the city were descending into violence and make them realize  the scale of the city’s gang problem.

Taylor knew there was a secret police map that depicted every gang band controlling their own part of the city.

The woman asked for the map’s copy but police department refused her

Blade’s editors decided to draw up their own map and assigned Dungjen to the task.  She and a staff photographer spent four months interviewing gang members, detectives and officers.

I wanted to do more to build a community of safety

The job was both exciting and dangerous. 

In April 2013 the map was published in The Blade 

Its publication provoked an extreme reaction inside local police department. They called it “irresponsible journalism” and  the information was “inaccurate”. However, the project received a lot of attention in journalist circles. It was welcomed by the society as well.

After the map’s release Dungjen started receiving job offers from other newspapers

Photo: Taylor Dungjen/Facebook

But Taylor was bored with journalist’ job. She missed “being in the mayhem of it all.”  Police officials sometimes asked her when she planned to join their department.

At first she did not think about it seriously.

Suddenly Taylor realized she could be more helpful as a cop

Social significance and an opportunity to help attracted her more and more. 

She loved Toledo and felt frustrated when people told they wanted to leave it because of insecurity. Taylor says she just wanted to help people and be useful to the locals.

“I wanted to do more to build a community of safety and thought I could do more on the front line than as a reporter,” she told CJR.

In 2014 Taylor signed to pass a police test. Secretly

Photo: Photo: Taylor Dungjen/Facebook

Her colleagues from The Blade were not surprised she decided to switch.“She just became such a believer that cops were doing the right thing,” an executive Editor Kurt Franck said.

But there were detractors constantly saying there was no place in police for a woman.

That year she also got pregnant and in 2015 she gave a birth to her son Milan. Taylor passed her police test and entered police academy.

Last summer Dungjen got a position in a local police department

She has recently started  patrolling on her own. Taylor also got a task to inspect a poor, inner-city area with a high crime rate. However, the woman is not afraid because she considers it will make her a better cop.

Taylor successfully combines the role of a police officer and a caring mother, who spends all her free time with son.

Source: CJR, Twitter, NBCNews, Poynter

Featured image: Facebook

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