VINELAND — By her own definition, Tabatha Roman is a hustler and driven, whether it is starting her own security agency from scratch or mentoring the many youth or young adults she encounters.

But one person she was happy to influence was her son Jason.

“Four years ago, I started looking at buying this Jeep,” Roman said. “I said I’m going to work hard and get that Jeep. One day I stopped by the [dealership] and drove off in the Jeep. My son said, ‘You motivate me. You work all of these hours but you then go out and get whatever you want. I want to be like you.'”

Advertisement. See video on front page of Front Runner New

Today, Jason has joined Tabatha at Roman Protective Services, which provides certified armed and unarmed security services for businesses in the Tri-State area. The former Cumberland County corrections officer said she wants to use what she learned in law enforcement to help secure others but also to mentor youth to make sure they don’t get involved in the criminal justice system in a negative way.

“When I was a corrections officer, I heard a lot of stories from inmates about what happened to them when they were teenagers and younger,” Roman said. “It made me think how I can have an impact on some of their lives, and one thing I realized is that we have to get them at a much earlier age.

“I have two kids of my own and I started talking and mentoring their friends. My goal is to have fewer incarcerated individuals. I teach them how to cope with their feelings, their fears, coping with not having a mom or dad in the house. I know how those things affect you later in life.”

Roman does.

She was raised by a single mother and whose father was addicted to drugs. While she and her father have a relationship now, that only happened recently and Roman said she rebelled through her youth and teenage years because of it.

Roman said today that her father has overcome his drug addiction and is now working hard to mentor others to do the same.

“I didn’t even know why; I was so rebellious,” Roman said. “We would have days in school where the fathers would come to be their daughters and I never had that, so I acted out. I was always in trouble.”

Then, a stranger came into her life, Jazzy Demby. Demby, the mother of local NFL lineman Jamil Demby, met Roman when she was 5. Roman said while she and Demby, a friend of her mother, did not hit it off right away, they soon became attached at the hip.

Photo provided by Tabatha Roman.

“I would call her names and she said, ‘That’s all right, but we’re going to be friends,'” Roman said. “She started introducing me to all of her friends and taking me to movies. When I got into trouble at school, she was the one to sat me down and talk to me and ask what was going on.

“She knew I liked to shop so she showed me how to work and hustle so I could buy the things I wanted. She taught me how to be a good mother and wife and it continues today. If I need help, I know she will be there to pick me up.”

Demby, who works in the healthcare industry locally, said it was a pleasure watching Roman grow into her own and start to understand what life has in store for her.

“I met Tabatha at five years old,” Demby told Front Runner New Jersey. “She is the daughter I never had. My heart swells with pride as I reflect on her accomplishments, both as a compassionate and successful individual and mother.

“Her resilience, and determination while navigating life’s challenges with grace and integrity is what I am most proud of her. I love her beyond.”

Now, through her security agency, she tries to hire formerly incarcerated people to give them a chance to prove themselves and contribute to society. As a suicide prevention advocate and youth mentor, Roman said she wants to not only save lives but to give them meaning and hope – like what others did for her.

“I always wanted to be my own boss,” said Roman, who has a degree in criminal justice from Rowan College South Jersey. “I’m working all of these jobs because I want to help others put food on their tables. My goal is to grow my security agency beyond Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to across the country. I’ve even look at Puerto Rico and expanding there.

Roman’s enjoyment of Jeeps has also grown. With her daughter, Damiya, she started a club of Jeep Wrangler owners, and enthusiasts, all minority females. The “Las Gatas” Jeep Club focuses on women empowerment, Roman said.

She said she wants to spread that empowerment to those wanting to build a great life of their own and out of the criminal justice system.

Follow Us Today On:





Note from AC JosepH Media: If you like this story and others posted on Front Runner New, lend us a hand so we can keep producing articles like these for New Jersey and the world to see. Click on SUPPORT FRNJ and make a contribution that will go directly in making more stories like this available. Thank you for reading.

About Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *