This week we focus on over 100 years of African-American history in the Philadelphia Police Department with Arthur Matthews, author of the new book, “Black In Blue.”
Matthews, who self-published his book which is laid out as a ‘scrapbook’ includes photos, articles and letters tracing the history of black police officers in Philadelphia from the first four appointed in 1881 to the current top cop – Police Commissioner Richard Ross.
Matthews, who himself is a trailblazer making history as the City’s first black captain of the Homicide Unit is a former Philadelphia Police Inspector who spent years digging through public archives and personal collections of his colleagues to write the tribute to black police officers that he calls, “heroes.” And, Matthews shares history on how pioneers outside the police force such as abolitionist and Underground Railroad leader William Still also played a key role in talks surrounding the push for black officers in the 1800’s. Matthews hopes to distribute the book to schools, clubs and members of the police force. “In Focus” airs Saturday mornings at 6:30 and 11:30 on PHL17.