Best Historic Museum Miami 2012 - Black Police Precinct & Courthouse Museum
480 NW 11th St.
Miami, FL 33136
In 1944, the City of Miami hired its first black police officers. They worked on foot and bicycle, patrolling the Central Negro District of Overtown, then known colloquially as "Colored Town," from the Florida East Coast Railway tracks to NW Seventh Ave, and from NW Fifth to 21st streets. By 1946, they also patrolled Liberty City and Coconut Grove. They were trained in the Liberty Square public housing project, and for six years they struggled without a permanent headquarters. In 1950, through the efforts of respected black professionals and clergymen, they secured a separate courthouse, jail, and precinct house at 480 NW 11th St., the first of its kind in the nation and still the only known black police station, jail, and courthouse built from the ground up. The historic building still stands, and Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., expert tour guides such as Capt. Otis Davis and Det. Archie McKay, who were on the police force way back when, will lead you through and relate stories about the jail cells and courtroom where they worked until 1963, when the station was closed in favor of integration.