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The History of Noble

Introducing the evolution of NOBLE and its founders. 

The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) was founded in September 1976 during a three-day symposium to address crime in low-income urban areas. The symposium was co-sponsored by the Police Foundation and the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration (LEAA). The Joint Center for Political Studies (JCPS) coordinated this unprecedented event in which sixty top ranking black law enforcement executives representing twenty-four states and fifty major cities gathered in the Washington, D.C. area to participate. They exchanged views about the critically high rate of crime in the black urban communities and the socio-economic conditions that lead to crime and violence. They raised questions about relevant issues such as fairness in the administration of justice, police community relations, the hiring and promotion of black police officers, and the unique problems of the black police executive.

Recognizing black law enforcement executives could have a significantly more effective impact upon the criminal justice system through a unified voice, the symposium participants departed from the planned agenda to create NOBLE. They unanimously elected Hubert Williams, then Director of the Newark, New Jersey Police Department, and the first black police chief of a major city, temporary chairman of NOBLE. During that meeting, the initial purpose and the objectives of the organization were developed and a working committee to devise the organizational structure was formed.

NOBLE Founding Members

*Denotes Deceased.

Andrew L. Rodez*

Benton Harbor, MI, Police Department

Atkins Warren*

St. Louis, MO, Police Department

Ben Holman*

U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Services

Bishop Robinson*

Baltimore, MD, Police Department

Burtell Jefferson*

Washington, DC, Police Department

Charles Boone*

Gary, IN, Police Department

Charles Gittens*

U.S. Secret Service, Department of the Treasury

Doeg Nelson*

Phoenix, AZ, Police Department

Edward Rhodes

Alaska State Troopers

Edward Williams*

Newark, NJ, Police Department

Frank Blount*

Detroit, MI, Police Department

Frank Ingram III*

Savannah, GA, Police Department

Fred Rice*

Chicago, IL, Police Department

Fred Ruffin*

Philadelphia, PA, Police Department

George Napper*

Atlanta, GA, Bureau of Police Services

Gwynne Peirson*

Howard University, Washington, DC, Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Homer F. Broome*

Los Angeles, CA, Police Department

Hubert Williams*

Newark, NJ, Police Department

J.L. Sparks

Atlanta, GA, Bureau of Police Services

James S. Griffin*

St. Paul, MN, Police Department

James V. Dabner*

Indianapolis, IN, Police Department

Johnnie Johnson

Birmingham, AL, Police Department

Joseph Fraser*

Atlantic City, NJ, Police Department

Joseph T. Rouzan

Los Angeles, CA, Police Department

Julius Guillory*

Opelousas, LA, Police Department

Kenneth Miles

Wilmington, DE, Police Department

Larry Bolden*

Las Vegas, NV, Police Department

Laurel Miller*

Richmond, VA, Police Department

Lee P. Brown

Multnomah County, OR, Sheriff's Office

Leon H. Smith*

Trenton, NJ, Police Department

Leroy Smith*

City of Miami, FL, Police Department

Leroy Swift

Kansas City, MO, Police Department

Lloyd Patterson*

Cleveland, OH, Police Department

Lloyd Sealy*

John Jay College of Criminal Justice, New York, NY

Louis Turner*

New Orleans, LA, Police Department

Lucius Amerson*

Macon County, AL, Sheriff's Office

Mitchell Ware*

Chicago, IL, Police Department

Monroe Coleman*

Omaha, NE, Police Department

O’Dell Sylvester*

Oakland, CA, Police Department

Paul B. Adams

Roanoke VA, Police Department

Peggy Triplett*

U.S. Department of Justice (LEAA)

Reginald Eaves*

Atlanta, GA, Department of Public Safety

Robert Lamb*

U.S. Department of Justice, Community Relations Service

Rodney Williams*

San Francisco, CA, Police Department

Roosevelt Dunning*

New York, NY, Police Department

Rufus Evans*

Kansas City, MO, Police Department

Sam Nolan*

Chicago, IL, Police Department

Samuel L. Williams*

Los Angeles, CA, Police Department

Sterling Johnson*

New York Prosecutor's Office, NY, Narcotics

T.C. Tisdon*

Shreveport, LA, Police Department

Thomas Mitchelson*

New York, NY, Police Department

Tilmon O’Bryant*

Washington, DC, Police Department

Vernon Gill*

Washington, DC, Police Department

William Bracey*

New York, NY, Police Department

William C. Helm*

Peoria, IL, Police Department

William E. Dye*

Champaign, IL, Police Department

William Logan

Evanston, IL, Police Department

William Lucas*

Wayne County, MI, Sheriff's Office

William Moore*

Pittsburgh, PA, Police Department

Willie B. Clayton Jr.*

Atlantic City, NJ, Police Department

Willie R. Howell*

Muskegon Heights, MI, Police Department

NOBLE National Presidents

*Denotes Deceased.

Anthony Scott


Atkins Warren*


Bishop Robinson*


Cedric Alexander, Ph.D.


Cerelyn J. Davis


Clarence E. Cox, III


Clarence Edwards


Douglas DeLeaver


Ernest E. Green, III*


Frederick L. Thomas


George Napper, Ph.D.*


Gilbert Branche


Gregory A. Thomas


Harold Johnson*


Henry DeGeneste


Hubert Bell


Hubert Williams*


Ida Gillis


Ira Harris*


Jacquelyn Barrett


James Golden


Jiles H. Ship


Jimmie L. Dotson


Jimmy L. Wilson*


John I. Dixon, III


John Pritchard*


Joseph A. McMillan


Leonard Cooke


Louis Graham*


Lynda R. Williams


Marcellus Boles


Marty Tapscott


Maurita Bryant


Moses Ector


Oliver Thompson*


Patrick R. Melvin


Perry Anderson


Perry Tarrant, MPA


Richard J. Pennington*


Ronald Nelson*


Sylvester Winston٭


Vera Bumpers


Wesley Mitchell*


Willie Williams*