African American Police League Spring Gala

Retired Lieutenant Shirley Green, officer Marquitta Bey, retired officer Anita Madison, officer Cherokee Tabb, Sgt. Willa Norrils

By Tricia Hall
The Truth Reporter

The local African American Police League (AAPL) held a Spring Gala at Toledo’s Glass City Pavilion located in downtown Toledo on Friday, April 26, 2024. Guests, current officers and retired officers enjoyed the lovely waterfront view, fine dining, entertainment and fellowship in efforts to raise funds to purchase a grave marker for former officer Albert King and his family.

“This is our first one,” said retired officer Anita Madison and AAPL president. “This year we are highlighting the first African American hired by Toledo Police. It’s a shame that he and his family don’t have grave markers. Once we found out, we made it our mission to get the grave markers.”

Albert M. King was the first Black officer appointed to the Toledo Police Department in 1887. Officer King and his family are buried in an unmarked grave in historic Forest Cemetery. The AAPL has launched efforts to raise funds for the grave marker.

“It’s important that we remember this officer and his family,” shared another AAPL officer, retired Lieutenant Shirley Green, PhD.

The program opened with a lively social hour filled with laughter, conversation and music. Guests were welcomed at the door and were surrounded by elegant black and crystal decorations. The Gala continued with an invocation, Negro National Anthem, welcome remarks, introduction of guests, history of AAPL and recognition of founders, acknowledgement of the Albert M. King Project and then closed with words of gratitude.

The AAPL serves the community and plans to host a gala each year. “We will highlight something every year,” began officer Madison. “The African American Police League was founded in 1968 to serve as a liaison between the community and the police. We can work to explain and clarify information to the community while holding the department accountable in areas like diversity, training and a number of other matters. We’re actively recruiting because any officer can join while we mentor the current African American officers.”

Founding AAPL members are: Rodney Anderson, William Mosely, George Atkins, Bill Poelinitz, Joe Ben, John Preston, Dorothy Brown, William Ragans, Ed Coleman, Frank Rogers, John Franklin, Walter Shaw, Cornell Grant, David Smith, Phil Harris, James Sneed, Ulysseus Howard, Charles Stuart, Charles Hunt, Irvin Swan, Nina Hunt, Marshall Swan, Stanley Hunt, Albert Taylor, Fred King, Darnell Thomas, McDavid McCorvey, Lawrence Thompson, Woodrow McCreary, Arthur Walker, Hubert Martin, Raymond Wolford, Joe Mayes and Mel Young.