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A career dream come true

By Elisabeth Altamirano-Smith/ Community Columnist

Isaiah Taylor, age 18, has always wanted to become a police officer. However, the fruition of his dream to protect and serve the community has not always been certain. Taylor was born with cerebral palsy, a disorder that affects half a million people in the United States. Cerebral palsy affects each person differently, but the most common symptom is motor disability that can cause involuntary muscle movements. Although Taylor is confined to a wheelchair, he has pursued his dream career of being a police officer regardless of the stigma associated with his disorder. In 2020, Taylor was sworn in as an honorary deputy sheriff for Tallapoosa County. Taylor graduated Reeltown High School in Tallapoosa, in May of 2021 and has been consistently looking for position with police departments, but his need for occasional assistance while on the job has made it difficult to find a suitable position.

“He wants to make sure the community is safe and get criminals off the street,” his mother, Jacklyn Baker Christian, said.

Since his graduation in May, his grandparents, Jackie and Geraldine Baker of Clanton, found the perfect position for him. Each month, Taylor will serve as security officer for the West End Neighborhood Watch Program. His first day on the job will be Thursday, Aug. 5 at 6 p.m.

“We are very proud of him,” Geraldine Baker said. “This is opening the door of possibilities for our young people, especially those that have disabilities. Everyone is welcome to come to show their support.”

The meetings are open to the public and the community is welcome to attend and wish him well on his first day. Isaiah will be in his uniform and community members from Clanton City Hall, Clanton City Police Department, Chilton County Sherriff’s Office and others are expected to be in attendance.

Isaiah is looking forward to being part of Clanton’s community and maintaining order at meetings. For those with a disability or those who have been told that they cannot achieve something, Isaiah has a message:

“Do your best and follow your dreams.”

Isaiah is the son of Kowosky and Jacklyn Baker Christian. He has four siblings: Jala, Kelan, Kacie and Kalie.