Officer Lenford Gouldbourne began to realize his lifelong law enforcement aspirations when he moved to New York City and joined the NYPD Auxiliary force. As an Auxiliary Police Officer he received hands-on law enforcement experience and got to know some of the inspirational members of the Department. In an unfortunate turn of events, then-Auxiliary Officer Gouldbourne became the victim of a crime. Yet this tragedy helped spark one of the most important decisions of his life: to become a police officer in the finest Department in the world. During this tumultuous time, Officer Gouldbourne credits retired Detective Gino Lopresti for encouraging him to make the leap from Auxiliary Police Officer to full time cop.
“Detective Lopresti saw something in me that I didn’t see in myself at the time. He really pulled out the best in me.”
Over a decade later, Police Officer Gouldbourne is the auxiliary coordinator for the 79 Precinct. During his 12 years protecting the streets of Brooklyn, Officer Gouldbourne has most enjoyed interacting with community members on a daily basis. Early on in his career he was assigned to the 79 school safety division. This position allowed him to create strong connections with some of the youngest community members. “Officer baldy”, as the students affectionately named him, became a staple in the students’ lives and a positive example of law enforcement officers. Over the years, Officer Gouldbourne has seen community relations improve significantly.
“I am personally seeing a change in how we treat the community and how the community treats us. I love seeing the look on people’s faces when you can help them. For me, a simple ‘thank you officer’ is one of the most rewarding things.”
For anyone who is still reluctant to interact with cops, Officer Gouldbourne has one suggestion:
“Just come out and spend the day with us and see what we do. Come to the National Night Out, Safe Streets events, Detective Liu and Detective Ramos Community Day, Easter egg hunts…there are so many opportunities and I think you will see a difference. ”