Since Wiley G. Overton was sworn in on March 6, 1891, as the first black New York City police officer, and recognized as the first official black police officer in the United States. Law enforcement officers of African descent have faced ostracism, racism, and violence to prove that we too belong in the system of justice called law enforcement.
Blacks in Law Enforcement of America (BLEA) recognize the rich history of the African American law enforcement professional who fought for our survival and 120 years later, we now have black commissioners and chiefs in law enforcement. We will never forget the shoulders that we stand on, because we did not get here on our own.
Blacks in Law Enforcement of America recognize that true policing is “extended,” meaning that the existence of BLEA will not only focus on the policy and procedures of the institution of law enforcement. BLEA will also focus on outside institutions like education, economic development, and employment that can contribute to the crime, safety, and security of the communities we serve.
Blacks in Law enforcement will continue to express “ Black” as it refers to people of color that are law enforcement professionals. The emphasis is on the common experience and determination of the people of African, Afro-Caribbean and Asian origin that opposes the effects of the policies and procedures in the history of our Justice System, that are based on racial bias and disproportionality.
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We Believe in true Freedom, Justice, Equality, Fairness, and Effectiveness of law enforcement issues, and the effect of those issues upon the total community.