ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) -- Tyrone Dennis, a St. Louis native and decorated Atlanta Police Gang Investigator, is returning home to do his part in helping with St. Louis’ crime problems.
“People would say you need to come back, a lot of stuff you’re doing in Atlanta, you need to come back and do it here and it was always in the back of my head,” said Dennis.
Civil unrest, protests and crimes against police are some of the reasons he went into early retirement from the Atlanta Police Department.
“One bullet away from death, and one mistake away from an indictment, I represent both demographics, I’m black and I’m blue,” he said.
While considering retirement, the Rockwood School District, his alma mater, reached out to him.
“I think Ty’s experience here in the Rockwood School District, his experience in law enforcement in Atlanta will bring much value to the Rockwood School District,” said Mark Miles, Superintendent of Rockwood School District.
Dennis is creating a program within the district to help improve relationships between police and the younger generation.
And in the inner city, he’s bringing his internationally recognized community program "Clippers and Cops" to St. Louis. The barber-based bridge helps for foster relationships between police and the communities they serve.
“By me making it, hopefully there’s another kid out here that can do the same thing and give them something different to see,” he said.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol Statistical Center, numbers from 2018 show juveniles made up almost 10 percent of the total population arrested for committing violent crimes.
Dennis says he hopes to target this population through his two programs.