By Lynn Jones
Chief Charles Scriven (retired), 86, finally received his acceptance into the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP). Employed by the Jacksonville Sheriffs Office for more than 40 years, he was the first black lieutenant and chief appointed in 1973.
A 1951 graduate of Old Stanton, he joined the Sheriffs office in 1954 after serving in the military. As an officer of the law, he desired to join the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and was denied entry as segregation was a way of life. Police officers were unable to arrest whites, keeping law and order amongst the Negro community was the officers top priority.
He eventually took his quest for membership to Philadelphia in 1957 but never gained entry into the FOP event after other persons of color could join. Still steadfast, he reapplied in 2018 only to find out he actually gained membership in 1996. The results that followed included a formal apology from the Sheriffs Office.
In honor of its 40th anniversary, the Brotherhood of Police also honored Scriven for his labors to open up the FOP to all officers.
“It it weren’t for George Scriven’s labors, we would not be able to have the Brotherhood of Police Officers or equal rights as our colleagues,” said Juanita Dixon, president of the Brotherhood which is comprised of officers of color.
Scriven himself was the keynote speaker of the celebration detailing his law enforcement career in the deeply segregated south. At the end of the program all African American law enforcement officers in attendance surrounded Scriven and declared that they stand on his shoulders of courage and determination.
“I deeply appreciate the honor of the recognition of disparity among black officers. I am thoroughly satisfied and trust that the officers coming behind me will receive fair recognition,” said Scriven proudly.
Shown is George Scriven looking at an older post of himself.