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Originally published January 06, 2014

First Black Baltimore Police Commissioner Dies at 86

by AFRO Staff

    Bishop Robinson, Baltimore’s first African American police commissioner. (AFRO File Photo)
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Baltimore’s first African-American police commissioner, Bishop Robinson, died Jan. 6 at the age of 86. The downtown police headquarters building bears his name, as does the criminal justice institute at Coppin State University.

Additionally, he served as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services and Secretary of the Maryland Department of Juvenile Justice.

A founding member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, Robinson really made his mark in law enforcement in this area and beyond.

"We have lost a true pioneer in the history of the Baltimore Police Department," Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said. "His legacy is one of service and continues to be a source of inspiration for officers today."

He joined the Baltimore Police Department in 1952 and served until 1987. He was named police commissioner in 1984.

“A pioneer in the field of public safety,” is what City Council President Bernard “Jack” Young called him. “Baltimoreans benefited from his tireless efforts to improve our city. His successes inspired countless men and women to dedicate their lives to public service. “

Young said he enjoyed the privilege of working alongside Robinson and is proud of his career of service “which was showcased last February during a dedication ceremony for a public justice institute at Coppin that stands as a tribute to his enduring legacy.”

City Councilman Carl Stokes, mentioning Robinson’s lengthy career as a police officer, capped by a tenure at the helm of the city’s police department, stress that, as an African American, leader “he faced many barriers, adapted and overcame.”

Stokes said, “We have lost an able statesman whose wisdom, experience and proactive leadership will be dearly missed at a time when cities like ours could benefit from his wisdom and expertise.”

Click for related articles:

"The AFRO Chronicles Bishop Robinson’s Career in Baltimore"

"Baltimore Community Remembers Bishop Robinson"



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