Black Police Precinct Courthouse and Museum President’s Message
The City of Miami, Negro Police Precinct and Courthouse was built in 1950, the only one of its kind in the nation. It contained the Negro police precinct and jail on the first floor and the Negro courthouse on the second floor. Miami was the only place in the United States that had a Negro police precinct, jail and courthouse contained in one building.
A segregated South demanded separation of Negro and White Officers. The City of Miami Police Department remained segregated from 1944 to 1963. The Department integrated in September 1963, and Negro Officers moved into the main police headquarters to work together with white police officers. The Negro Precinct was then abandoned for nearly 60 years, weather beaten and hurricane weary, it was finally restored to its original condition and deemed a historic museum in September 2009.
The Mission of the Museum Trustees is to acquire, preserve, display, and promote collections of historical relevance that will have educational and cultural significance for the preservation of African American history as it relates to the struggles and accomplishment of black police officers in “Colored Town” Miami, as they served during the pre Civil Rights Era of the 1940’s 50’s and 60’s. The term Central Negro District CND was coined to describe the three self sustaining Negro communities (Coconut Grove, Overtown and Liberty City) in the City of Miami.
The Museum houses police memorabilia, artifacts, documents, photographs, videos, and word of mouth stories by the men and women who worked there. The trustees continuously raise funds to make the Museum self sustaining. It is intended to emphasize the cultural heritage of Afro Americans, as well as provide a historical perspective to all visitors sharing the rich history of the CND of the City of Miami and the outlying enclaves of Miami-Dade County Florida.
Inclusive in the goals are to make this “one of a kind Museum in America,” a major place to visit for tourist throughout the world coming into the City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida.
Dr. Thomas K. Pinder, Museum President
Dr. Thomas K. Pinder is a veteran of the City of Miami Police. Dr. Thomas K. Pinder was elected the new President of the City of Miami Black Police Precinct & Courthouse Museum on February 16, 2013. Dr. Pinder specializes in Organizational Development. He previously served as Chair of the Miami Dade County Living Wage Commission 2002-2004. He is “hailed” for his copyrighted nationally senior citizen program the “Synergic Approach HAMMAR” Project. Dr. Pinder was a keynote speaker of the International Chiefs of Police at their 1997 Law Enforcement Convention on Miami Beach, Florida on the future of Law Enforcement. He has consulted in both the public and private business sector with outstanding results.
Black Police Precinct Courthouse and Museum Board Members
Police Chief Clarence Dickson, Ret., Chair
The first Black to attend the Miami Police Academy. Prior to 1960 Blacks and Women were denied this training. It took 16 years for Blacks to break this barrier. Dickson graduated June 14, 1060. In this fight for equality the Black Officers of the “Old Precinct” opened the door to a more level playing field. Dickson was the first through that door and it was from that playing field that he progressed from Police Officer to Sergeant, to Lieutenant, to Major, to Deputy Chief, to Assistant Chief and finally became Miami’s first Black Police Chief On January 11, 1985.
Police Sergeant Willie Jackson Ret., Vice President
Sergeant Willie R. Jackson, Jr. is retired from the City of Miami police Department. He serves as a volunteer to several community organizations. He mentors young people in addition to, mentoring the Miami Police Explorers. Sergeant Jackson is the President of the National Black Police Association (NBPA) Miami Chapter. He is a member of the NBPA Century Club, the Institute for Social Justice, the National Association of Blacks in Criminal Justice (NABCJ), and a Life member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
Police Lieutenant Archie McKay, Ret., Treasurer
Lieutenant Archie McKay Ret., holds the distinction as one of the few living police officers who served in the segregated Negro police precinct in the 1950’s. Lieutenant McKay went on to become one of the outstanding distinguished police investigator after the integration of the white police headquarters. Lieutenant McKay is considered to be one of the “pillars” of the community. He worked Uniform Patrol, Detective Bureau Burglary and Robbery. He went beyond the basic job as he dealt with victims of crime. He helped to bring about a positive change in their lives always willing to listen.