First black police officer in Kansas City

1844 – 1891

The Kansas City Police Department came into existence in 1874 and during that year employed its first two black officers: William Davis and Lewis Tompkins. William Davis served on the force for 15 years, retiring in 1889. He died in 1891 at the age of 48 from liver complications and was buried at Elmwood on January 27, 1891.

He was married to Annie Davis in 1866 in St. Louis, MO and she is also buried at Elmwood. She died on October 1, 1889 and was buried at Elmwood in October of 1890.

Notable Burials