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A Guide to the Atkins Warren Papers

Finding aid created by Anna Armitage

University of Florida Smathers Libraries - Special and Area Studies Collections
December 2014

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Warren, Atkins, 1925-2010
Title: Atkins Warren Papers
Dates: 1948-2010
Bulk dates: 1970-1995
Abstract: Papers and photographs related to the career of Atkins Warren, the first African American chief of police for Gainesville, Florida. Aspects of his career covered include his time with the St. Louis Police Department, with the Gainesville Police Department, and with the U.S. Department of Justice Community Relations Service, as well as his presidency and service with the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE).
Extent: 4.25 Linear feet. 5 Boxes.
Identification: MS 325
Language(s): English

Biographical/Historical Note

Atkins Warren (June 30, 1925 - August 7, 2010) was the first African American police chief of Gainesville, Florida. He served from 1980 to 1984, during a period of severe race relations issues in the city. He began his long career in law enforcement with the St. Louis Police Department, serving from 1948 to 1980. Following his retirement from the Gainesville Police Department, he joined the U.S. Department of Justice in the Community Relations Service, serving as a race relations specialist and as a regional director in the Midwest. After leaving the Department of Justice in 2002, he established Atkins Warren and Associates, a consulting firm specializing in race relations. Warren graduated from Webster University in Missouri with a B.A. in Sociology and a Master's degree in Public Administration. He was a founding member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) and served as president in 1981-1982.

Scope and Content

The main components of this collection are: photographs of Atkins Warren, throughout his professional career; scrapbooks and notebooks documenting his time in St. Louis; documents and correspondence pertaining to the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE); papers related to his professional interests and initiatives; and certificates and awards commemorating his time in St. Louis, Gainesville, NOBLE, and the Department of Justice. Most of these items are from the period 1970 to 1995.

Newspaper clippings speak directly to Warren's professional accomplishments. Others relate more generally to African American police officers and the St. Louis Police. A variety of pictures from conferences and events, specifically with the Department of Justice and NOBLE, are also included in this collection. Some of these images consist of prominent public figures such as Janet Reno and Gerald Ford. Several family members and a variety of family events are also represented in photographs.

Access or Use Restrictions


The collection is open for research.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Atkins Warren Papers, Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida.

Acquisition Information

The collection was acquired in 2014 from Carrie Parker-Warren, widow of Atkins Warren.

Contents List


1 Biographical materials, career, obituary, background.
1 St. Louis Police Academy Notebook. 1948
1 St. Louis Police Department Scrapbook. circa 1948-1963
1 St. Louis Police Journal (Police Periodicals). 1953, 1963
1 St. Louis certificates and awards.
1 Scrapbook, Relocating from St. Louis to Gainesville. 1980
1 Gainesville - Oath of Office. 1980
1 Gainesville - Retirement as Chief of Police. 1984
1 Gainesville and Florida certificates and awards.
1 Department of Justice - use of deadly force. 1978
1 Department of Justice - Notes, riots in L.A. following Rodney King trial. 1992
1 Department of Justice - violence in schools. 1995
1 Department of Justice - Kansas City Police Chiefs' conference. 1995
1 Department of Justice - Certificates and awards.
1 NOBLE general. 1978-1982
1 NOBLE correspondence. 1978
1 NOBLE correspondence. 1979-1980
1 NOBLE. 1982
2 NOBLE conference and exposition. 1982
2 NOBLE - Youth Against Violence.
2 NOBLE - Judge Joseph A. McMillian, former president.
2 NOBLE publication. 1998
2 Newspaper clippings - Atkins Warren.
2 Newspaper clippings - Atkins Warren feature article.
2 Newspaper clippings - Black police chiefs, St. Louis. 1995
2 Newspaper clippings - General: law enforcement, St. Louis, Gainesville, NOBLE, National. 1977-1982
2 Newspaper clippings - Miscellaneous.
2 Newspaper clippings - St. Louis, promotion to Captain and Major. 1964-1968
2 Certificates and awards, appreciation.
2 Correspondence to Barack Obama. 2008
2 Correspondence, miscellaneous.
2 Studies of black leadership in law enforcement (2 folders). 1976
2 Webster College, B.A. and M.A. 1975, 1979

Photos and Videos

2 DVDs: 1) Alachua County Presents Profiles in Black History, 2006, Cynthia Moore Chestnut narrates profile of Warren; 2) Recording from TV of Barack Obama Inauguration, 2009. 2006, 2009
2 Photos, Bridgewater Asset Management Corporation, Department of Justice. 1990
2 Photos, Colonel William Brown's Retirement, St. Louis.
2 Photos, Department of Justice: swearing in (2 folders).
2 Photos, Department of Justice events (3 folders).
2 Photos, Department of Justice: swearing in/other events.
3 Photos, Department of Justice (?).
3 Photos, family.
3 Photos, family events.
3 Photos, family and friends (?).
3 Photos, from Eleanor H. Hall (family?). 1988
3 Photos, Gainesville career.
3 Photo, IBM customer executive program. 1969
3 Photos, miscellaneous.
3 Photos, NOBLE.
3 Photos, Omaha conference, Department of Justice.
3 Photos, originally in photo album (photocopies of original order).
3 Photos, police miscellaneous.
3 Photos, portrait shots.
3 Photo, St. Louis Argus Distinguished Citizens Award. 1972?
3 Photos, St. Louis career.
3 Photos, Warren in Gainesville as new chief. 1980
3 Photos, Warren with VIPs.

Memorabilia and Artifacts

4 Badge and Identification, Deputy Sheriff Alachua County.
4 Badge, Gainesville Chief of Police.
4 Badge, Regional director: central region, Department of Justice.
4 Clip-on badge, Associate Director for the Community Relations Service.
4 Clip-on badge, Gainesville Chief of Police.
4 Clip-on badge, NOBLE founder/life member.
4 Department of Justice recognition plaque. 1995
4 Gainesville Police plaque upon retirement. 1984
4 NOBLE award. 1976
4 NOBEL model car.
4 NOBLE St. Louis Chapter service plaque. 1980
4 Royal Vagabonds Humanitarian Award. 1980
4 Service emblem, Missouri, World War II. 1941-1945
4 Service coin, Missouri, World War II. 1941-1945
4 Uniform emblem, Gainesville Police.
4 Wallet badge, Gainesville Police Chief.
5 Appointment certificate from Attorney General. 1987
5 Appointment to Sergeant, St. Louis Police. 1958
5 Florida Association of Deputy Sheriffs Burney Brinkley Award. 1984
5 Fraternity pledge paddle. 1977
5 Ink on paper drawing of Warren aiming a gun.
5 Newspaper article on the St. Louis Police.
5 Op-Ed piece by Judy Sedgeman regarding Warren (matted). circa 1980
5 Oversize and poster board news articles about Atkins Warren.
5 Photo: NOBLE conference attendees. 1988
5 Photos (2) of painted portraits of Warren's parents.
5 Plaque received upon leaving St. Louis. 1980
5 Plaque with reprint of article from "The Police Chief" featuring Warren. 1983
5 Plaque featuring "Profiling Cops" article from Emerge magazine with Warren interview [Loose item; not in box].

Selected Subjects and Access Terms

African American police
National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives
United States. Community Relations Service.
United States. Department of Justice.

For further information, please contact: Special Collections Access Services.

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