The former chief and the captains are writing a book about their law enforcement journey

A group of retired members of law enforcement have come together to share their stories of when they wore the badge in hopes of inspiring the next generation. After one of them died, the other three got down to business and put their combined 100 years of experience on the page for anyone who might consider wearing the badge. Former President Willie Johnson, former Captain Calvin Kelly, and Willie Harper banded together and published true stories of over 100 years of Blacks in Blue. “We’ve had some great careers, that’s what I call it. We’ve had challenges but we’ve stuck with it. So we hope people will read it and see what we get through and it will be an encouragement to other officers that you can do that as well,” Johnson said. Johnson said he was one of six black police officers when he joined the Greenville Police Department in the 1970s, which presented its own challenges. “People had old habits they didn’t want to get away from. I almost quit in the two weeks I was there,” said Johnson. He loved seeing not only people of all backgrounds join law enforcement but especially women. “Because when I started there weren’t any female officers, and now there are probably at least 10 in the Greenville Police Department and they’ve moved up the ranks,” Johnson said. Johnson also mentioned how technology has changed how policing works today and how he is holding officers accountable for their actions. As for what could be better, he said they should continue to engage with the community. Thought it could make a huge difference. “You have to have connections in the community in which you work,” Johnson said. Regardless, Johnson said the future for law enforcement is bright. “We had some challenges when we started out. Some challenges that officers don’t have to deal with today, but we made it through. They can make it happen. If you decide this is the career you want, you go into law enforcement, you can get a job,” Johnson said, since retiring. Johnson has participated in several forums with other members of law enforcement and church leaders.All to help continue to bridge the gap.True Stories of Over 100 Years of Blacks in Blue is available for purchase on Amazon.

A group of retired members of law enforcement have come together to share their stories of when they wore the badge in hopes of inspiring the next generation. After one of them died, the other three got down to business and put their 100 years of combined experience on the page for anyone who might consider wearing the badge.

Former President Willie Johnson and former Captains Calvin Kelly and Willie Harper have reunited and published the true stories of over 100 years of Blacks in Blue.

“We’ve had some great careers, that’s what I call it. We had challenges but we stuck with it. So we hope people will read it and see what we’re through and it will be an encouragement to other officers that you can do that,” Johnson said.

Johnson said he was one of six black police officers when he joined the Greenville Police Department in the 1970s, which presented its own challenges.

“People had old habits they didn’t want to get away from. I almost quit in the two weeks I was there,” Johnson said.

Since his time in blue, he added; He loved seeing not only people of all backgrounds join law enforcement but especially women.

“Because when I started, there weren’t any female officers, and now there are probably at least 10 female officers in the Greenville Police Department and they’ve moved up the ranks,” Johnson said.

Johnson also mentioned how technology has changed how police work today and how it holds officers accountable for their actions.

As for what could be better, he said they should continue to engage with the community. Thought it could make a huge difference.

“You have to have connections in the community in which you work,” Johnson said.

Regardless, Johnson said the future for law enforcement is bright.

“We had some challenges when we started out. Some challenges that officers don’t have to deal with today, but we made it through. They can make it happen. If you decide this is the career you want, you go into law enforcement, you can get a job,” Johnson said.

Since retiring, Johnson has participated in several forums with other members of law enforcement and church leaders. All to help continue closing the gap.

True Stories of Over 100 Years from Blacks in Blue is available for purchase on Amazon.

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