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Posted on: June 26, 2018

College Park Mourns the Passing of James L. Booker, One of the City's First Black Policemen

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James L. Booker

James L. Booker, one of the two first black police officers hired by the College Park Police Department, died Thursday, June 21, 2018.  Highly regarded by current and former members of College Park's police force, Booker provided guidance and leadership to hundreds of officers who followed in his path.

Booker was hired on September 15, 1964, by College Park Police Chief T. Owen Smith. With Booker's hiring to the 28-member squad, there was now a presence in the African-American community of College Park strictly designed to engage in programs to uplift, including the junior police.     

College Park Police Chief Keith Meadows honored Booker in 2017 with the honorary title of Deputy Chief.  Booker's 
influence and encouragement have been noted by current and former staff.  Lieutenant Sharis McCrary offered that Booker was a major influence prior to her joining the force, where she now manages the community policing officers.  McCrary believes Booker's legacy will remain instrumental in the recruitment of new officers.
 
Retired College Park Police Officer Al Garrett says Booker was "a policeman's police officer." He stated that Booker was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police, as well as the National Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).  "Booker broke down barriers, he inspired me, and had a wonderful relationship with the entire community, " Garrett offered.   

Booker was a Deacon at Wheat Street Baptist Church. To offer condolences, or to read his obituary, you may visit: https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/name/james-booker-obituary?pid=189377407&page=2


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College Park City Hall
3667 Main St.
College Park, GA 30337
Phone: (404) 767-1537