KGNU’s Tish Beauford spoke with Terrilynn Moore for A Public Affair on July 23rd.
Listen to the interview:
Terrilynn Moore Biography:
In 1984 I was sworn into the Denver Police Department as a rookie patrol officer. But, what I really dreamed of was to be an actor, a dancer, or an artist…but my family insisted that I get a “real job”. Being a police officer in the neighborhood I grew up in made me feel as if I was making a difference in people’s lives. I spent five years in regular patrol where I felt respected by the people I was paid to “serve and protect.”
In my 5th year I was promoted to the Gang Unit–the first African American woman in that prestigious unit. I loved the ingenuity of the gang kids. The ways they maneuvered and schemed to defend themselves against the police.
I teased them about the peach fuzz above their lips. I told them if their peach fuzz wasn’t as thick as mine they couldn’t talk back to me. That usually broke the ice and allowed us to, sometimes, become friends.
The thing that made me walk away from police work was the recurring experience of talking to one of my kids on a Thursday, or a Monday and then being assigned to stand over their dead body on a Saturday. I watched a fly crawl out of the broken face of one of my kids. My maternal senses and my humanity were appalled and brutalized again and again.
So, after ten years and one day of service I retired and began to chase my original dreams of being an artist and a performer. I now paint your dreams and tell you haunting stories.
Since 1994, Terrilynn has become a very popular artist and storyteller. She is currently working on a virtual one woman show entitled “Stolen Lives” and continues to create inspired and innovative artwork throughout Colorado.