MARCH 12, 2020—The National Police Foundation extends heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Hubert Williams, who passed away earlier this week on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. Williams served as the president of the National Police Foundation (formerly Police Foundation) from 1985-2012—becoming the longest serving president in the organization’s 50-year history.
Williams—a Harvard Law Fellow, Graduate of Rutgers Law School, a founding member and former first President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement (NOBLE), and the youngest and first African American to serve as Police Director in Newark, NJ—was a trailblazer and influential leader in the policing profession.
Williams was appointed Police Foundation president in 1985, following the retirement of NYPD Commissioner Patrick V. Murphy. Prior to his appointment as president of the Police Foundation, Williams served as police director in Newark, New Jersey, from 1974 to 1985, and under his leadership the Newark Police Department served as the laboratory for two groundbreaking Police Foundation studies pivotal to the evolution of community policing—The Newark Foot Patrol Experiment and the NIJ-funded reducing fear of crime experiment.
During his 27-year tenure as president of the Police Foundation, Williams continued to be a visionary leader, pioneering initiatives that were instrumental to progressing and advancing the policing profession through improving the practice of community-oriented policing. Under his leadership, the Foundation successfully assisted police departments seeking to increase community satisfaction with police service and implement community policing strategies. Williams was a key partner in the National Community Policing Consortium that would help shape new views of traditional policing models and embed organizational philosophies of community-oriented policing in law enforcement practice for future police leaders. This work, coupled with research experiments that tested the effectiveness of police strategies, helped lay the groundwork for significant improvement in the way police conduct their business now and in decades to come.
During Williams’ tenure, the Foundation completed studies and/or hosted conferences on use of force, abuse of authority, gun ownership in America, balancing immigration enforcement with civil liberties, comparison data across the largest six police departments in the U.S., drugs and crime in America, the growth of CompStat in American policing, and a review of the civil disturbances in the wake of the Rodney King beating, resulting in the report The City in Crisis (1992). Williams also established the Center for the Study of Police and Civil Disorder and The Crime Mapping Laboratory.
“President Williams’ contributions to the profession of policing are many and will have a lasting, profound impact on American policing and his leadership and vision shall serve as a model for every leader in policing and justice,” said James. H. Burch, II, President of the National Police Foundation.
“Hubert served as a mentor to so many up and coming leaders in the profession and had a real concern for people from all walks of life, and always demonstrated the utmost integrity,” said longtime staff member and colleague and the Foundation’s Chief Behavioral Scientist Karen L. Amendola, PhD.
The memorial service for Hubert Williams, originally scheduled for Friday, March 20, has been postponed. A new date, time, and location have not been determined. As soon as the updated information is available, the National Police Foundation will make an announcement.