A move to rename the Lima City Hall Of Justice in honor of William K. Davenport came up during a Lima City Council meeting.
It is a fitting tribute to a man who ascended to the ranks of Lima Police Department leadership during a very different time in our area and in our nation.
Davenport was among the first African Americans to serve as police chief in a U.S. city when he was sworn in almost 50 years ago in 1968.
It was the start of a ten year stay at the helm of LPD.
His promotion came at a time of considerable racial tension in Lima and other larger U.S. cities just 3 years after the adoption by congress of the Civil Rights Act.
At that time, supervisory positions were almost exclusively occupied by white men with minorities seldom represented anywhere near the top of the ranks inside and outside of law enforcement.
Those were different days in law enforcement as well.
Davenport became chief during the same year that police officers in Lima were first issued portable radios to communicate.
In-cruiser radios wouldn’t come until 2 years later, believe it or not.
There are many younger people who have no idea who William Davenport is, let alone his place in Lima history.
Maybe the recognition he will receive with signage on the hall of justice remembering him will bring new realization of his accomplishment.
That’s the way I see it.