Executive - Press Release

Posted on: June 8, 2016

Public Safety Building Conference Room Dedicated to Cpl. Robert Snow, first black county officer

At the urging of Public Safety Director Joseph Bryant Jr. and with the consent of County Executive Thomas P. Gordon, New Castle County is scheduled to rename the Department of Public Safety’s First Floor Conference Room in honor of the first African-American Police Officer hired by New Castle County, Retired Corporal Robert L. Snow. County Council consented to this dedication as well.

The ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday. Retired Corporal Robert L. Snow will be present for the dedication ceremony. The public is invited to attend.

County Executive Gordon had the pleasure to serve with Officer Snow as members of the NCCPD. “He is a great man. When one reads Corporal Snow’s biography, it does not take long to be impressed,” Gordon said. “He was an excellent, hard-working police officer who began his career during a difficult era in our nation’s history.”

Snow was hired on September 11, 1968, just months after the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was a tumultuous time in Wilmington as violent riots were taking place, further straining the relationship between African-Americans and law enforcement.

Corporal Snow continued on his journey in law enforcement. remained the only African-American police officer for the first five years of his career. He eventually retired on October 3, 1988 and again made history by being the first African-American to complete 20 years of service upon his retirement.

Chief of Staff Samuel L. Guy, Esq., known in Delaware for his work in civil rights, commended the County Executive and Public Safety for honoring a man of Snow’s caliber.

“When one considers the struggles of minorities throughout our history, Corporal Snow is a shining example of how a man of courage and conviction could have a stellar career in law enforcement despite the odds,” Guy said. “I thank County Executive Gordon and staff for making this happen.”

During his career, Snow worked in the Traffic Services Unit, Police Training and Education Division, Family Crisis Intervention/Youth Aid Unit and the Criminal Investigations Unit where he possessed unique abilities in the execution of arrest warrants. He also earned a reputation for his knack of locating missing persons throughout New Castle County. Officer Robert Snow was promoted to the rank of Corporal on September 11, 1981.

During Snow’s career he received numerous letters of commendation for his actions and service to the residents of New Castle County. According to retired Major J.K. Smith, Corporal Snow was “frequently called upon to handle the role of acting Sergeant.” He also was bestowed with a Commendation of Heroism on March 30, 1976, for his actions at the Naamans Road Apartment complex during which he entered a smoke filled apartment building to rescue several residents.

Snow resides in Wilmington. He has four children, nine grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. He has many devoted friends which includes his friend and caretaker, Jacquelyn Coverdale, who also resides in Wilmington.

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