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Los Angeles Police Dept. award ceremony

@ Los Angeles Public Library

Curtis, Rolland J


Rolland Joseph 'Speedy' Curtis was born in Louisiana in 1922. After serving three years in the Marines during World War II, he and his wife, Gloria, relocated from New Orleans to Los Angeles in 1946. Curtis served four years with the Los Angeles Police Department, but resigned from the force in order to pursue both a Bachelor's and Master's degree from USC. He later became involved in city politics, as an associate of Sam Yorty, and later a field deputy to City Council members Billy Mills and Tom Bradley. He was briefly director of the Model Cities program in 1973. Rolland J. Curtis died in his home in 1979, the victim of a homicide. An affordable housing complex on Exposition Blvd. near Vermont Ave. was named in his honor in 1981, along with a nearby street and park.; Photograph included in the Exhibit: Firsts, Seconds and Thirds: African American Leaders in Los Angeles During the 1960s and '70s from the Rolland J. Curtis Collection.Marguerite Justice (1921-2009) was appointed to the Los Angeles Police Commission in 1971, becoming the second woman, and the first African American woman, to be named to the commission. Justice, or "Mama J" as she was affectionately called, was well-regarded as a great supporter of the LAPD, and for her extensive community work.; Homer Broome (1931-2007) joined the LAPD in 1954, and by 1969 became the first black Captain of the LAPD. He was again promoted in 1975 to the rank of Commander, also the first African...
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