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'Making progress': Tampa police remember the Fearless Four who brought change to TPD

Tampa Police held an event with organizations to celebrate Black history Monday night.

TAMPA, Fla — The Tampa Police Department held an event Monday night to celebrate Black history. A number of organizations along with city officials attended.

Members of the Fearless Four said this event is important because it allows everyone to remember the past.

"We ended up changing the entire city of Tampa as a result of that lawsuit," Clarence Nathan, the chaplain for the Tampa Police Department, said.

Nathan explained in the 1970s he was involved in a lawsuit filed against the city of Tampa for discrimination at the Tampa Police Department.

Nathan expressed there were things he wasn't allowed to do as a Tampa police officer.

“We were seeing people being promoted and things we weren’t able to do like riding motorcycles or being in specialty units," Nathan expressed. He added he worked for the Tampa Police Department for 15 years and in his time they only hired eight black officers at a time. 

Now over 50 years later, he has seen tremendous progress but hopes to see even more.

“We would like to have more Black officers in the police department and more going into command, all the way from patrol officers up to the command post," Nathan stated.

Speakers at the event inside the Tampa River Center Julian B. Lane Park recognized Black history and progress made. 

The Tampa Police Department recognized Nathan as well as Unsung Community Heroes. They were honored because they made contributions in the community during their careers at the Tampa Police Department. Monday night those who attended celebrated how they paved the way for all minority officers.

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