Miami police officer travels country to end bullying

By John Turchin, Crime Specialist, jturchin@local10.com
Published On: Nov 20 2012 11:57:00 PM EST
Updated On: Mar 13 2013 03:26:19 PM EDT

A veteran Miami police officer is trying to put an end to bullying, and he is traveling the country to do it.

MIAMI -

Bullying. It’s a part of our society. It takes on so many forms. There’s cyber bullying, bullying through emails, text messaging or twitter. There’s also physical and verbal bullying. There’s one man on a mission to put an end to it. He’s a cop. His name is Joe Schillaci.

His name might sound familiar. His face will if you watch television. He is one of the stars of the reality show "The First 48."

"I'm not playing God. I wouldn’t dare do that. Who am I to judge?" Schillaci recently told Local 10 Crime Specialist John Turchin. "If you can change that one child’s way of thinking that it’s okay to cry, it’s okay to talk about bullying and you prevent that kind of violence, then in essence you have changed the world."

And, that is what the 29 year Miami Police veteran intends to do. He is traveling around the country speaking to tens of thousands of kids and adults about the devastating affects of verbal violence – or bullying.

"There’s a child in that school, that has been bullied, that is being bullied so badly,” insisted Schillaci, “that they become so desperate that the act of violence is planted in their soul. And they will act on it.”

And that is something this admittedly, once-cocky Italian kid from New York, is not willing to chance.

Schillaci said it was one experience that changed his world, and his passion for life crumbled as everything he lived for - and stood by – shattered. It was September 22, 1991.

“Four young kids ambushed my partner and I,” recalling the traumatic evening.“One of the offenders put a gun to my partners head and squeezed the trigger five times. I reverted to what I was trained. I didn’t have to think about it. I automatically reacted to that level of violence.”

Physical violence like what happened that night in Liberty City is what Schillaci contends is the result of verbal violence, or bullying, and feels if he can stop one kid from being abusive, he may save a life.

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