Vincent R. Tilson, Sr. was born and raised in the city of Yonkers, where he lived with his mother Bettie and his sister Darlene. He attended Yonkers Public Schools and graduated from Roosevelt High School in 1978. Upon graduation from high school, Vincent enlisted in the United States Air Force, where he served his country for four years. After his discharge from the Air Force, he returned home to Yonkers and worked for General Foods, Inc. until he was hired by the Yonkers Police Department in 1985. Vincent and his wife Christa were married in 1989 and now reside in Ludlow Park. They have three children, son Vincent Jr. and daughters Quincy and Taylor.
In his spare time, Vincent enjoys keeping physically fit, traveling with his wife and children, spending time with friends and family, and is an avid sports fanatic.
While attending the Yonkers Police Academy, Vincent also attended Elizabeth Seton College where he studied television and radio production.
Vincent began his career in the 2nd precinct as a patrol officer and after one year, was assigned to the Narcotics Division as an undercover officer. As a patrol officer from 1986 to 1993, Vincent was assigned to the Narcotics and Street Crime units. During this time, he received numerous departmental awards and recognition, including the 2nd Precinct Community Council Meritorious Service Award. He also received the distinction of being the first African American police officer to appear on the annual P.A.L. poster for the 1990-1991 calendar year. In 1993, Vincent was promoted to the rank of Detective and was assigned to the Major Case squad. He then worked in the Burglary and Financial Crimes units, and served as an Intelligence Officer. He is also a certified FBI Crisis Negotiator. In July 2017, Vincent retired from the Yonkers Police Department while assigned to the Financial Crimes Unit.
Vincent is one of the founding members of the Yonkers Guardians Association, (incorporated, 1986). He served as Vice President for six years and then as President for four years. Over the years, Vincent has been involved in many community outreach enterprises and continues to be involved in the following community organizations:
• The Yonkers Guardians Association
• N.A.B.L.E.O. (National Delegate)
• C.L.U.S.T.E.R. Westchester Mediation Center
o Restorative Justice
o Certified Mediator
o Certified Conflict Coaching
• The James H. Farrell Masonic Lodge, of Yonkers
• City of Yonkers Drug Court Advisory Board
• The Yonkers NAACP
• YWCA Celebrity Chefs
• Westchester Coalition Against Bigotry
• Yonkers Police Department Honor Guard, (founding member)
• F.A.T.H.E.R.S., (Fathers Armed Together to Help Educate Restore and Save), this group is a branch of The Yonkers Violence/Gang Prevention Coalition
• Financial Crimes Investigator
• Post Retirement
o Licensed NYS private investigator
o Driver/Security for NYS Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins
o Sam H. Dow VFW Post 1017, Yonkers N.Y.
Vincent believes that it is each individual’s responsibility to project a positive image for Black and Brown minority youth. While he was in the service, the expectation was to, “Lead, follow or get out of the way.” Vincent’s philosophy is, “Those who can, do. Those who refuse to extend themselves for the betterment of others, and those who refuse to accept responsibility for their actions, should get out of the way. There is no time for foolishness.” These sentiments have paved the way for the reasons of his volunteer and community endeavors.
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