Baltimore police are mourning the death of a decorated officer who died last week after complications from surgery stemming from a Feb. 18 on-duty car accident.
Officer Forrest "Dino" Taylor, 44, of Annapolis, died Aug. 29 after undergoing the latest in a series of medical procedures. He had been injured in a crash at a stoplight in Mount Vernon while responding to a call.
"Each and every day Officer Forrest 'Dino' Taylor and his fellow officers place their lives on the line to make our neighborhoods safer," Police Commissioner-designee Anthony W. Batts said in a statement. "We will never forget Officer Taylor's dedication and commitment to making downtown Baltimore a better place to live and work."
On Feb. 18 at 5:50 a.m., Taylor activated the lights and siren in his police cruiser and traveled through a red light in the 600 block of Guilford Avenue in Mount Vernon while on the way to assist another officer, according to police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi. Taylor's vehicle was hit by a sports utility vehicle driving through a green light, police said. The cruiser struck a pole and fire hydrant and came to rest in the 500 block of Guilford, police said.
Officers filed no citations against the driver of the SUV. The officer was not found at fault, either.
Police are taught to use caution when driving through red lights in emergency situations, but that does not always prevent crashes, Guglielmi said. "This was just a tragic, tragic accident," he said.
A 17-year veteran of the department, Taylor worked in jobs throughout the agency, including stints as a homicide detective in 2003 and a violent crimes investigator in 2008. He received four commendations from the department, including three for his work with a task force that in 2000 served 4,500 warrants and cleared 150 percent of cases (that calculation includes cases from previous years).
Taylor was best known for walking his foot post in the downtown community, police said.
He is survived by his wife and two children.
"Officer Taylor backed up the quality of his service with his life," Guglielmi said. "He was responding in an emergency capacity to help a complete stranger. It's a sobering reminder of what police officers do every day."
Taylor is the fourth Baltimore police officer to die in the line of duty since 2010.
His funeral service is scheduled for Friday, Sept. 7, at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen at 5200 N. Charles Street.
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