Thursday marked the 51st anniversary of the Rev. Archibald Killian and the late Donald Moon taking their oaths as Athens’ first black officers, the Athens Banner-Herald reported.
Police and local leaders marked the occasion at a Thursday ceremony by naming the Baxter Street police substation for the two men.
Killian and Moon’s daughter Sandra Scott were present as the new sign was unveiled for the 5-year-old building. It will be called the Moon-Killian Building.
“Fifty-one years ago today ... history was made when Donald Moon and Archibald Killian were hired as the first two African-American police officers by the City of Athens Police Department and they actually patrolled this area where we are today,” Athens Mayor Nancy Denson said. “It’s rarely easy to be the first people to do anything.”
The word pioneer means to open and pave the way for others to follow, Denson added.
“That’s what these two men did,” she said. “They prepared the way for others to follow, such as Councilman George Maxwell, the third African-American police officer.”
Also among the first black officers to serve in Athens was James Billups, who died Sunday at age 75. He was hired by the Athens Police Department in 1966 and was promoted to master police officer.