Helena-West Helena honors city’s first black police officer

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William Wright

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HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. — The first black police officer in this Arkansas city’s history was honored with a street sign in Helena-West Helena on Friday.

Detective William Wright was hired as an officer in 1965 and served until 1979, back when the city was called Helena.

When Wright was first hired he was not allowed to carry a service weapon or drive a patrol car, but because of his hard work was eventually promoted to sergeant.

Family members who gathered in the city today said Wright loved serving his community, and was the owner of several businesses and a World War II veteran.

Part of the street was named in Wright’s honor.

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