Magnolia State Peace Officers Association of Louisiana
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History


The Magnolia State Peace Officers Association is a non-profit community service organization dedicated to the betterment of law enforcement and the administration of justice in the State of Louisiana.  Having been incorporated in 1956, this organization is one of the earliest corporations to be established by minority persons concerned with the quality of law and order.  Having been constantly active and viable since its formation, it is hence one of the oldest such organizations in the state.

Earliest documents available of the organization indicate that the idea for the corporation was born of the mind of William B. Hines.  Mr. Hines, who was the first Black Officer hired by the City of Shreveport, LA as a policeman, had the occasion to attend the 20th annual convention of what was the Texas Negro Police Officers Association.  The convention was held at one of the local Black public schools in the City of Beaumont, Texas.

Officer Hines, who had an uncle on the police force in Port Arthur, TX, joined the Port Arthur Chapter. The by-laws required joining a local chapter before being eligible to join the state organization.  While attending activities of the Texas Peace Officers Convention, Officer Hines became interested in the possibility of setting up an organization in Shreveport and Caddo Parish.  His thoughts extended to the possibility of forming a state wide organization in Louisiana like the one in Texas.  In 1956, while attending the Texas Convention which was being held in Baytown, TX, Officers Hines inquired of officers of the Texas Convention on how he could put his ideas into action.  The Texas Convention was very helpful in answering Officer Hines inquires.  With the information obtained in Baytown, Officer Hines began the efforts to form a Louisiana Negro Peace Officer Association.

First, Officer Hines with the corporation of the then Chief of Police of Shreveport, Harvey D. Teasley, secured data regarding the number of Negro officers in the state.  Officer Hines and Chief Teasley were successful in securing the information through the Louisiana Council on Human Relations.  Eighteen Louisiana cities besides Shreveport responded to the inquiry; each giving a list of the Negro Policemen and school crossing guards that were employed with their respective agencies.  There were a total of 37 police officers and 39 crossing guards.  The city with the most was New Orleans with 12 police officer and 26 crossing guards (Baton Rouge had 0 officers and 2 crossing guards).  Officer Hines determined from the cities that responded there were 1,630 white policemen and 160 school guards.

After obtaining the information, Officer Hines talked to Albert W. Walton about forming a unit in Shreveport and Bossier City.  Mr. Walton was the only black deputy with the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Department.  There were 24 Black special security informers on the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s roll who got no pay and did not carry a gun.  In addition, Caddo Parish had one Black Juvenile Officer and Bossier City had a black school teacher who was hired as a part-time special officer to handle the “Negroes”.

Several meeting of the minds were held between Officers Hines and Deputy Walton.  The ideas were finally put into action and the first organizational meeting was held with Officer Hines presiding.  After outlining the plans and objectives of the association, Officer Hines was selected as the chairman of the Steering Committee.  Ms. Gloria J. Harrison, the Juvenile Probation Officer of Caddo Parish, was appointed acting secretary, the early meeting were held each second and fourth Sunday at the Carver Branch of the YMCA.  After the fourth meeting Attorney Jesse N. Stone Jr., who was a practicing attorney in Caddo Parish was contracted to assist the group in applying for a state charter. 

The members elected as the charter officers were:

 

Name Position
William B. Hines President
A. W. Walton 1st Vice President
Bufford Norris 2nd Vice President
Gloria J. Harrison Secretary
T.C. Tidson Treasurer
C.L. Reeves Legal Advisor

 

The state is currently divided into four regions with a total of 13 chapters.

 

Region I:        

  • Acadiana-Franklin/Patterson
  • Lafayette-Lafayette
  • Lake City-Lake Charles/Westlake

 

Region II:

  • Central-Opelousas
  • Mid State-Alexandria

 

Region III:

  • Brotherhood-Plaquemine/West Baton Rouge
  • Capital-Baton Rouge
  • Southeast-Hammond/Mandeville

 

Region IV:

  • Cane River-Natchitoches
  • Northeast-Monroe
  • River City-Bossier City
  • Shreveport-Shreveport

 

Magnolia holds an annual state wide training conference starting the first or second Wednesday to Saturday in June.  The conference rotates between regions each year.  The rotation has been set for the following years:

 

YEAR

REGION

POTENTIAL LOCATION

2018

II

ALEXANDRIA/OPELOUSAS

2019

IV

NATCHITOCHES

2020

I

LAKE CHARLES

 

The conference consist of training classes, a pageant, pistol match, awards banquet for Officer and Chapter of the Year, social events, and full body sessions.