Shreveport's first black police officer passes away - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Funeral arrangements set for Shreveport's first black police officer

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William Hines and Joe Johnson were Shreveport's first and second black Shreveport police officers. William Hines and Joe Johnson were Shreveport's first and second black Shreveport police officers.
Rev. William Hines, during an interview with KSLA News 12 in 2013. Rev. William Hines, during an interview with KSLA News 12 in 2013.
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SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

Shreveport's first black police officer has died.

William Hines's wife Marie Hudson Hines says he had been in the hospital since Saturday morning and passed away Wednesday morning.

Hines became the first black police officer on the city's police force in 1954, ten years before the Civil Rights Act ended all state and local laws requiring segregation.

He walked his beat for four years in African-American sections of town before he and another black patrolman, Joe Johnson, were given a patrol car. Unable to join the Fraternal Order of Police, Hines formed the Magnolia State Peace Officers Association in 1956.

He served on the force for more than 21 years before he brought and won a class action suit against the department to force it to promote more black officers and allow them to work in more areas of the department and the city.

"Bill Hines was a true trailblazer not only for the police department but for our entire city,'' Mayor Cedric Glover said. "The courage it took for him to maintain his professionalism and stay focused on doing the job that he was called to do during a time when racism was overt and obvious is something that very few of us can actually imagine, let alone relate to.

"So, the debt of gratitude we owe him for the sacrifices he made is one that can never be fully repaid," Glover said.

He retired from the department in 1975, and married Marie Hudson in 1976. Together, they have 3 children and 8 grandchildren.

Hines entered the ministry in 1978, becoming the Rev. William Hines. He served at St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church for 20 years and Antioch in Homer for eight years before taking over as pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Shreveport.

Hines was born to Anderson and Ada Hines, a sharecropper and a maid, in Bossier Parish in 1927.  He grew up on a plantation in Mira.

Before making history as Shreveport's first black police officer, Hines was drafted in 1950 and served in the U.S. Army in Korea and Japan. He returned to Shreveport and finished High School at Booker T. Washington. It was while he was there that the President of the Negro Chamber of Commerce gathered applications from several black veterans to give to the Shreveport Police Commissioner at the time, encouraging the hire of black officers.

Hines was selected to take the test to become a police officer and passed.

Hines also served in the U.S. Army Reserves for more than 20 years following his discharge from the Army, and was elected as a post commander in the American Legion, where he was chaplain.

Visitation for Rev. Hines is set for 6 p.m. Sunday, May 18 at Peaceful Baptist Church at 8200 St. Vincent Ave. in Shreveport.

The funeral will take place at 10 a.m. on Monday at the same location.

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