A Prince Of A Policeman

A Nightstick Now. . .

As a New York City police officer Amoti Nyabongo wears a shield and a blue uniform. One day, Nyabongo may wear a crown. Nyabongo, who grew up and lives in Brooklyn, is a prince in the Kingdom of Toro, one of four that make up Uganda. His grandfather was king, as was his uncle, and one day, he may be called to return to Africa to rule. In the meantime, he walks a beat in Brooklyn.

Here's what he had to say about his present job, and what his future may hold.

On The Possibility Of Becoming King

Nyabongo: "If it came to me I'd take it. I'm not in a hurry to take on that kind of responsibility. I enjoy my anonymity, and I enjoy my privacy. To take on a role like that would thrust me into the forefront. Even if it's just in Toro. You've got a million and a half people in the kingdom, roughly. And you have to do everything from giving blessings to weddings to settling disputes, and all kinds of tribal customs. There's a lot of responsibility with it. Not only that: you have to travel. You have to be aware of what's going on politically in Uganda, and in the surrounding countries. "

How He Ended Up On The Force

Find out more about the Kingdom of Toro.
Nyabongo: "How I chose to be a police officer is quite interesting. When I graduated from college, I wanted to pay off some loans, and I also wanted to finish getting my pilots license my senior year. That has always been my dream, to become a commercial pilot. I said to myself 'What's the quickest way for me to get this license?' graduating with a degree in sociology, there weren't too many jobs available that were paying decent.

An uncle of mine said here, take the test. He was a police officer, he was a lieutenant with the department. He says take the test, come work for me, I'll let you study for sergeant, and then I'm gonna kick you loose.' Well, he was a transit lieutenant, and I ended up working in NYPD, so it didn't work out. "

He Likes Being A Cop

Nyabongo: "But I'm not complaining. Initially I only wanted to stay for three years. I wanted to get my pilot's license and go. But I got a chance to fly, in the aviation unit, they have helicopters. I wound up getting my helicopter's license through the department. I was there for seven years....

My 15 years with the department has been a blast. Every time I'd say to myself 'I think I've don enough' something else would come along. I've been in the recruitment section, I've taught in the police academy."

How People On Hs Beat Respond To His Royal Lineage

Nyabongo: "They say: 'You're a nice guy. And you're a prince. Wow!'" But it's not like I have strangers coming up to me saying 'Hey! You're that prince.'"

Becoming King Would Have Drawbacks

Nyabongo: "It would be a stretch for me. There are certain things you just can't do as a king. There are a lot of restrictions. Being a prince, it's okay to have a girlfriend. It's okay to be out there like that. Whereas if you're a king you have to be married. And I do want to get married, but I don't want to get married because I have to, I want to get married because I want to.""

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