Black History: We Salute YOU!
When San Antonio Police Officer Douglas Greene grew up with his mother in the tiny town of Woodsboro, near Corpus Christi, Texas, he never imagined he would be wearing blue.
During the summer months, he would spend time with his dad in Los Angeles. While there, he had his first encounter with police work, because his great grandmother was one of the first African-American female officers with the Los Angeles Police Department.
Despite seeing her fulfilling work at the jail and working with youth programs, Greene was not convinced at the time that he wanted to immediately pursue a career in law enforcement.
“If I was going to do that job, I wanted to be all in,” he said. “I couldn’t say that confidently.”
That changed at the age of 10, he started developing that interest in police work when he met Refugio County Sheriff Robert Bolcik. Bolcik was a deputy at the time and was coaching Greene’s Little League team.
“He had command presence about him,” Greene recalled. “He would coach in his full uniform. He was stern but polite at the same time. I was fascinated with him.”
One day Bolcik was coaching third base when he got an emergency call. Greene said the deputy sprinted across the field, jumped a fence and got into his marked Ford Bronco, lights on, sirens wailing and tires spinning in the gravel, as he raced to the call.
“It was like something out of a movie,” he said. “I could have gotten hit in the face with a fly ball. I wanted to go with him.”
With that dream in mind, Greene went on and attended Texas A&M Corpus Christi and earned a communications degree in radio, TV and film, hoping to pursue work with a law enforcement program. He even applied with Langley Productions, the creator of “Cops.”
Greene and his wife moved to Los Angeles in order to get into the television business, but his dream of getting into film never came to past. He began using his skills volunteering at Mosaic, a non-denominational church in Los Angeles, and that service to others reignited his desire to become police officer.
“Services involved a full-scale production with cameras, and music,” Greene said. “It was a way for me to use my talents and my education. I wasn’t getting paid, but I was feeling fulfilled.”
Later, Greene and his wife moved back to Texas and their first daughter was born.
With the rich history and heritage of his great grandmother running in his veins and his experiences with Sheriff Bolcik as a youth, Greene had a burning desire in his heart to become a police officer. That desire led him to research the process online at www.sapdcareers.com and applied to the San Antonio Police Department.
“I wanted to be police officer in Texas and whenever I think of Texas I think of the Alamo and San Antonio,” Greene said. “I just love the community here in San Antonio.”
Greene was hired and went on to graduate from the academy in 2010. He works out of the Central Substation on the “power shift” from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m.
On patrol he checks in with local shopkeepers and neighbors to help deter crime in his area. He also makes regular visits to Carvajal Early Childhood Education Center to read to the kids.
Like his great grandmother before him, giving back to the community is part of his nature.
“I feel like a hero when I go in there and it’s rejuvenating,” Greene said. “Every once in a while people on the street give you attitude, but these kids love you when you go in there. I want them to realize police officers are their friends.”
He also likes his shift because it gives him more time to be home with his wife and two daughters.
Greene is also a member of the SAPD’s Family Assistance Team. This group provides support when an officer is injured on the job.
“It’s emotionally taxing but in a way, I look at it as a calling,” Greene said. “The San Antonio Police Department is one big family. Those are my brothers and sisters. There are no coworkers in this department.”
SAPD and African-American News&Issues proudly recognizes Officer Douglas Greene as profile of the week for Black History Month.