Stamford Police Department Commemorates Black History Month

February 28, 2024 0 By JohnValbyNation

STAMFORD, CT — There was a sense of pride inside the ground-floor meeting room of the Stamford Police Department on Monday. Believed to be the first time in the agency’s history, active Black Stamford police officers gathered in one space to take a group photo to commemorate Black History Month.

The gathering also served as a way to remember the first Black police officer in department history, James W. Foreman.

Foreman was born on Feb. 2, 1912. He entered the U.S. Army on April 1, 1942, and served in internal security, security and intelligence, the Provost Marshal’s office and the criminal investigation division, according to biographical information from the SPD.

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He was a military investigator for more than five years and received commendation for his service in combating crimes and drugs, the SPD said.

Following a 13-year career as a special and supernumerary officer, Foreman became the first Black police officer in SPD history in 1946. He retired from the police department in 1977.

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“During the years of service as a police officer, Foreman was known as a proud and joyous person who exemplified peace and happiness. Foreman was known by fellow police officers as the officer with the pearl white pistol handle, and a unique whistle,” the SPD said. “Foreman was a pioneer and paved the way for diversity and equality within the force.”

Foreman died on Nov. 18, 2006, from natural causes, according to the SPD.

In 2024, there are now 37 active Black police officers in the SPD.

Lt. Jerry Junes helped organize Monday’s photo, and spoke with Patch about how Foreman helped pave the way for future Black officers.

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“He meant a tremendous amount for the city, for all of us,” said Junes, a Stamford native who has been with the SPD for about two decades. “Having heard so much about him, having the opportunity to be a Stamford police officer is heaven-sent.”

Along with being the first Black officer in department history, Junes said Foreman possessed a special kind of character.

“To be the first of anything certainly speaks of the value of your character and the person you are,” Junes said. “We try to continue that legacy and approach this job as professionals and try to have character and leave behind something that younger officers are able to grasp and carry on the tradition.”

Assistant Stamford Police Chief Silas Redd thanked the officers for taking the time to gather for the photo.

A 36-year veteran of the force, Redd said he had never seen a gathering like this.

“This is pretty damn special,” he said.

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