Former Law Enforcement Agent Reflects on His Pioneering Career

To cap-off our Black History Month coverage, we spoke with a relative of the show – Jennifer Lewis-Hall’s dad, Mr. Arthur Lewis.  PHL17’s Zachery Lashway sat down to talk with him about his decades-long career in law enforcement, which began in 1956 in the U.S. Treasury’s Federal Bureau of Narcotics.  In those days of policing, Lewis says the color of your skin had a large impact on your position within the agency.

“In those days black agents were always charged to be undercover.” Lewis said. “[After a bust] I would disappear into the city because they didn’t want people to know who we were.”

After being transferred into the Justice Department Enforcement Administration in the late 60s, Lewis attained several positions which, at that point, were reserved for only white agents.  An important milestone was his appointment to Special Agent In Charge of the Mid-Atlantic region.  He was the first black agent to achieve this position.

Here is Mr. Lewis’ trailblazing accomplishments in the arena of law enforcement.


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