NOBLE march honors fallen police officers

Wednesday, July 16th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives continues it's annual convention in Tulsa Wednesday.

Wednesday morning, hundreds gathered for a march and memorial service to honor fallen officers. News on 6 reporter Patrina Adger says law enforcement officers from across the country gathered to pay tribute to their fallen comrades.

It was part of the annual National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives conference. NOBLE national president Jimmy Wilson, "NOBLE is about equity and the delivery of police services around the country. Our name says we're the black law enforcement executives, however we are a diverse organization. We're here to work with not only the minority community but every community."

And its children. There were kids in Tulsa from NOBLE's Youth chapter in Washington D.C. Youth leader, Rhonda Glover, "we want to prepare young people for life and we're looking ahead to recruit young men and women for law enforcement." Hundreds blanketed Greenwood Avenue and marched to Mount Zion Church for a memorial service to remember law enforcement officers who have died.

Wilson, "having the church service here is significant because it was one of the buildings burned during the 1921 race riots. A time in Tulsa's history when blacks and whites were divided." Another divisive issue within the police department, the Black Officer’s lawsuit against the Tulsa Police Department. But NOBLE'S national president says that wasn't a factor when deciding where to hold this year’s conference. "We considered all the information. We're impressed by what the citizens said that they would do with us and for us."

Wilson says one of NOBLE's goals is to strengthen the relationships between communities and police, to work together to fight crime in our neighborhoods. A united effort Wilson says that would benefit the citizens of Tulsa.

The convention will bring in more than $1.5-million to Tulsa's economy.