Leroy Stover: Birmingham’s First Black Police Officer

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Leroy Stover: Birmingham's First Black Police Officer

Leroy Stover: Birmingham’s First Black Police Officer


On December 14, Birmingham’s NAACP chapter will honor Birmingham’s first black police officer with a lifetime achievement award. Leroy Stover joined the Birmingham Police Department in 1966 and retired as Deputy Chief in 1998.

His niece, Bessie Stover Powell, has published a book chronicling her uncle’s 32 year career. The book describes Stover’s struggles, rejection, and success.

Stover spoke with WBHM’s Sarah Delia about the book and his career. He started by describing his first day on the job where he was abandoned by his white partner at roll call. Without the help of a friendly bus driver who was also white, Stover wouldn’t have made it to his beat and possibly through his first day.