First Black Officers in Law Enforcement
First African American in Law Enforcement
April 15th, 1880
Colorado’s First Black Officer
Isaac Brown (1880-1917)
According to the Denver Police Museum, Isaac Brown was elected in April 15 of 1880. Police officer elections were something relatively new. Officer Brown served the Denver Police Department for 10 years.
First known Black Officer to Infiltrate the KKK – Ron Stallworth
Ron Stallworth (1962- )
As the first African American and youngest detective in the Colorado Springs Police Department, Ron Stallworth infiltrated the ranks of the Ku Klux Klan.
In 1944, after retirement, Stallworth published the true story of his undercover investigation of the KKK in his book, Black Klansman. The book reached #1 on the New York Times Best Seller’s List.
A film based on the book, went on to be nominated for six Academy Awards, five BAFTA Awards, four Golden Globes and three Screen Actors Guild Awards, winning Best Adapted Screenplay at both the Academy Awards and BAFTA Awards. Also, the American Film Institute (AFI) named it one of the Top 10 Movies of the Year for 2018.
First Black Commissioner (Chief) of Philadelphia Police
First Black Chief of LAPD
Willie L. Williams (1943-2016)
In April of 1992 Williams is credited with another first when he was appointed as LAPD’s first black Chief. Williams was brought in to succeed Daryl F. Gates after Gates was unable to restore confidence in the agency following the Rodney G. King beating and subsequent riots.
CSUPD is a diverse law enforcement agency that celebrates the commitment of all its officers. During Black History Month, CSUPD salutes Black officers those who have served and continue to serve CSUPD and our students, faculty, staff and larger Fort Collins and Northern Colorado community. Those officers are:
Corporal Rodney Smith (1991-2013)
Chief Dexter Yarbrough (2003-2009)
Captain Frank Johnson (2005-Present)
Officer Matt Clark (2007-2012)
Corporal Alisha Zellner (2014-Present)
Officer Al Thompson (2020-Present)