Director of Public Safety &
Superintendent of Police (retired) (1967-1990) - I was in the PAPD
Police academy in August 1967 when we were deployed to the city of
Newark, N.J. to supplement the Newark Police, N.J. State Police, and the
N.J. National Guard to help quell the riots that were taking place in
Newark at the time. It was an interesting initiation into policing in my
After several times being passed over for
Sergeant, I filed a class action suit and was successful in getting the
PA to hire the first female police officers, and increase the numbers of
Latino, Asian, and other minority officers and revise the promotional
system to eliminate implicit bias.
As a Sergeant assigned to headquarters I
was able to obtain a block grant from LEAA to fund the Police Youth
Services Unit at the PABT as a unique program in policing in the U.S.
Subsequently, LEAA designated it as a “Model Program” and funded it for
two more years.
As the Operations Captain at JFKIA, I was
responsible for the investigation for the PAPD of the Lufthansa robbery,
making it the largest cash robbery committed on American soil at the
time. As Deputy Superintendent of Police I was asked by the Metropolitan
Police in London to assist them in analyzing the causes and solutions to
the riots in Brixton in April, 1981. The leadership of the Metropolitan
Police had read several papers I had written on the subject.
In 1982, I established our first K9 patrols on the PATH system, modeled
after the K9 unit in the SEPTA system in Philadelphia. Pa.
I was appointed as Superintendent of
Police in 1983, becoming the first Black American and the youngest
person to have achieved that position. To date, I am also last person to
have risen through the ranks of the PAPD to become the Superintendent of
As Superintendent of Police, 1984 I
created the Special Olympic Law Enforcement Torch Run in New Jersey,
which has become the most successful Law Enforcement torch run on the
globe and is the leader in fundraising for Special Olympics worldwide.
The Lincoln Tunnel Fun Run is also a successful offshoot of this
As part of a health and wellness program
for officers, we created a team of officers to compete in the New York
State Police Olympics. I am proud to say we set the standard in many
events wining many gold medals. I always enjoyed running in the 200- and
400-meter events against some of the younger officers. We also fielded a
team of athletes in the “Corporate Challenge” and won the event in New
Jersey, which got us a trip to the national finals on Paradise Island in
the Bahamas. Great fun!
In 1986, I established the Port Authority
Police Command College in collaboration with John Jay College and the
West Point Military Academy. Although It was discontinued because of
fiscal issues it remains as a pioneering effort in the development of
police leadership education in the U.S.
In 1986, we developed in partnership with the Manhattan District
Attorney’s office, the first New York City Video Teleconferencing
System, for arraignment of arrested criminal suspects.
In 1988, developed a partnership with
INTERPOL to facilitate a system of regular exchange of information
concerning terrorism and criminal trends associated with airport
operations. The organization is the Airport Law Enforcement Agencies
I could not ever imagine a more wonderful
experience in my life then the time I spent in the PAPD. As the saying
goes, “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life”
and I truly loved my time in the PAPD.