Meet the first Black officers to walk the streets of Jacksonville

The first Black officers in Jacksonville, Florida were hired on July 16, 1950.

The men were officers Henry Harley, Edward Hickson, Alvin James, Beamon Kendall, Marion Massey, and Charlie Sea.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said the six officers were trailblazers who paved the way for many officers today. The officers were hired in Jacksonville when city officials finally responded to growing demands in the black community, according to the Jacksonville History Center.

The history center said Harley, Hickson, James, Kendall, Massey, and Sea were sent to a separate “police academy” at the Wilder Park playground (instead of the Police Academy for the City of Jacksonville).

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The Black officers were required to be under white supervisors and were not allowed to arrest whites, the center said.

All Black officers were assigned walking beats; patrol cars were for white officers only, the center said.

“After many years of being torn between law enforcement and the community, in 1966, Precinct #3, the “Colored Division Headquarters” closed forever with the integration of the ranks of the Jacksonville Police Department,” the Jacksonville History Center said.

In 1995, Nat Glover became Jacksonville’s first Black sheriff elected in Florida since the Reconstruction Era. He went on to serve for eight years.

Click here to dive deeper into the lives of Black officers in Jacksonville in the 1900s.

Meet the first black officers in #Jacksonville, Florida.

Officers Henry Harley, Edward Hickson, Alvin Janes, Beamon Kendall, Marion Massey, and Charlie Sea.

Thank you for being trailblazers who paved the way for others to follow.#BlackHistoryMonth

— Jax Sheriff’s Office (@JSOPIO) February 5, 2019

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