'We passed by Rochester a few times and thought 'Why not?''
Get to Know… Lawrence Conley II, Equity Specialist for RPS and private investigator
Are you originally from the Rochester area?
No, I am not originally from Rochester. My family and I moved here from Tacoma, Wash., four years ago. I personally grew up in Fairbanks, Alaska.
After working in the private sector (private investigator/executive protection.) My wife and I made enough to pay our first house. When talking about where to live we wanted someplace, quiet, peaceful(ish) and boring, LOL. While visiting my in-laws we passed by Rochester a few times and thought "Why not?"
What do you like best about Rochester?
To be honest, I'm still trying to figure that out. However, if I had to give you an answer ... Taco Jed's, The R.A.C. and the few and the proud people that I've met in the community that I have the luxury of calling friends.
What changes do you think still need to be made?
If I had to speak on the city as a whole, I believe there's an unspoken sense of biased as well as segregation that is very subtly seen. I think the community of Rochester needs to work on being more direct when it comes to dealing with things, avoid being passive aggressive, not be intimidated to make mistakes and have uncomfortable conversations about things outside of their scope of understanding. Oh, and most importantly, embracing new ideas outside of their comfort zone!
What do you do for a living? Why did you choose that for your career?
I'm an Equity Specialist for the Rochester Public School district as well as a licensed private investigator for the State of Minnesota. I love working with youth and teens. I enjoy being a mentor and providing guidance as well as understanding to those that are still trying to understand themselves and discover who they are. And unlike adults, kids are still more malleable when it comes to processing the information and experiences that they're given. Hope to be a positive one in their lives.
When it comes to me as a private investigator, I chose that career based on my upbringing. I grew up in a single parent household and one of the things me and my mom would do would watch Columbo, Unsolved Mysteries, America's Most Wanted, and Perry Mason. As I got older I admired legendary investigators like Sherlock Holmes and Batman (yes Batman is detective). I grew up believing that information is power and everybody wants to be in the "know." I believe that being a private investigator puts me in a privileged position to help those that are seeking answers to certain situations so they can find closure in them. The name of my company here in Rochester is called Happy 2 Help: Investigations.
What one piece of advice would you give someone looking to pursue the same career?
I would say some advice that applies to both careers is patience, not only with people but with yourself. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, because we learn a lot through our success but more through our failures. At the end of the day there's no such things as losses, just lessons. Take your time to understand and study human nature, because at the end of the day, regardless of how many innovations we make in technology, the human condition is still a factor and always will be in our society and crucial in anything you decide to do as a career.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment?
I competed in an open martial art tournament in Germany that was a qualifier for the London Olympics. I took third and qualified. But never competed in London.
What is one thing most people don't know about you?
I hate pickles.
Get to know ... is a feature in Rochester In Color, a special section within the Post Bulletin's website that profiles people of color in our community. Find it at www.postbulletin.com/rochester-in-color . If you know of someone who should be featured, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org