Much of the police department’s history has been lost over the decades due to the many large hurricanes that have struck our city. We have been diligently working to identify the first African-American Gulfport Police Officers in an attempt to properly honor their memory. Based on our research, they were Zachariah H. Durr (photo attached) and Malchi K. Lee. They started in March of 1949 and were among the first African-American Officers in the State of Mississippi, the first being in Indianola. While conducting the research, we discovered that Malchi K. Lee died in the line of duty on July 14, 1950, of a sudden heart attack.
So here is what we need help with, we have not been able to locate a photograph of Malchi K. Lee for our Fallen Officer Memorial and the display honoring him and Zachariah Durr. While conducting this research, we located a second unknown fallen officer, R.L. Varnado, who died in October of 1908.
We need your help honoring these heroic officers.
**Please note these articles contain outdated cultural depictions some may find offensive. We are posting these to aid in the hopes of locating a photo of our fallen officers.**