Jackson’s first black police officer given lifetime award

Joe Land
Joe Land
Joe Land

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – A retired police officer in Mississippi was honored as a pioneer for African Americans in local law enforcement.

Local news outlets report the City of Jackson presented a lifetime achievement award Thursday to its first African American police officer, Joe Land.

In 1963 Land was one of six African Americans who were sworn into Jackson’s police force. News reports from April 10 say the 80-year-old served the city for more than two years and is the only of the original black officers still alive.

Land was picked up from his home in a limo and motorcade then taken to police headquarters. He says the recognition was a long time coming but a blessing he’s proud of.

Police chief Lee Vance says it’s because of Land that he’s in his position today.

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