MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police celebrated the career of one of the department’s first African American police officers on Monday.

At 94 years old, retired MPD Captain Jerry Williams is the only living member of his class.

On this date in1948, he was announced as one of the first nine African American police officers to join the department. Captain Williams served the department for 32 years.

It wasn’t an easy time but it was always a badge he wore with honor. “It was hard, but I stood with nine men at the academy,” he said.

MPD honored him by allowing him to do the shift roll call for Raines Station officers from his home.

“He has been around to support the department for many many years and today we honor and recognize him,” said Memphis Police Chief CJ Davis.

This was a special moment for Captain Williams and all these years later to see what the department has grown into is a warm feeling for him.

“When I see you guys in uniform it makes my heart fill up because I know what y’all go through,” he said.

He was presented with a current officer hat and a special resolution from the Shelby County Commission.

That resolution highlighted Captain Williams achievements for the department and the county.

From this day forward, October 11th will be Jerry D Williams Day in Shelby County.

Captain Jerry Williams

It’s a moment that means so much to his family.

The Memphis Police Department posted this historical moment on Facebook. You can watch it here.