TEDxSavannah hosting conference Friday at Jepson Center - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

TEDxSavannah hosting conference Friday at Jepson Center

(Souce: WTOC) (Souce: WTOC)

Professionals from all around the region will take part in a major conference Friday in Savannah.

TEDxSavannah is hosting a daylong event that's created to stimulate dialogue through engaging conversations, with session breaks designed to give individuals and organizations in Savannah a platform to meet, share ideas and collaborate.

Multiple speakers will take the stage to share thoughts, sparking deep discussion and hopefully self-evaluation. One of those speakers will be Lt. Timothy McMillan of the Garden City Police Department.

Back in October, McMillan posted to Facebook about his experience of performing a routine traffic stop on a black teen.

The Facebook post went viral, sparking positive and negative responses.

WTOC's Jarvis Robertson spoke with McMillan ahead of the TEDx event and found out just how passionate the lieutenant is about the community and the viral post.

"To me, there was a lot going through my mind, why is this such a big deal," McMillan said. "But then, realizing what I see in my little area doesn't mean that is what's happening all over the place. Then the realization set in, there's a problem here and it bothered me."

Just a glimpse at the  Facebook post could present McMillan as a hero, but he says that's not the case. He ultimately wants to see a better relationship between the community and law enforcement.

But, as you can imagine, a range of responses were received about the post. McMillan was asked what fellow officers had to say, and said, "outside other law enforcement agencies, I was surprised by some of the comments and feedback I got. Whenever you hear something drastically different and you don't hear a police officer speak out sometimes and say that's not good behavior and we can do better than that, they're not use too."

McMillan understands that everyone will not agree with him, but says law enforcement should be making the difference in the lives of community members.

"Take a little of investment in your career, your quality as a police officer that is. It's not judged by how many people you arrest and tickets you write, it's how much impact you make and lives you change," McMillan said. "When we host certain events where we're encouraging the community to come to us, we're not really reaching who we need to. The only people who come to days when we show off our police cars or Coffee with a Cop are the people who like us. That's not who we need to get to. We need to get out there." 

And to the naysayers who thinks he's a show off, McMillan says it's not about him.

"It truly is a representation of the agency I work for and that's one of the most important things. I hope that other agencies look at what we do and to know it's just me. There's a philosophy put out there."

The TEDx event kicks off at 9:15 a.m. Friday morning at the Jepson Center, but tickets are sold out. However, you can watch the live stream by clicking here

There will also be watch parties at the following locations:

The Creative Coast
Bull Street Labs
2222 Bull Street
Savannah, GA 31401

Armstrong State University
Ogeechee Theater (Student Union Building)
11935 Abercorn Street
Savannah, GA 31419

Savannah State University
Student Union Ballroom C
3219 College St
Savannah, GA 31404

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