MESQUITE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – In 1985, Jon Latimore was hired in as the first African American Police Officer to serve in the Mesquite Police Department.
“For 28 years he made a lasting impression on the community receiving numerous commendations from citizens and coworkers,” the city said in a news release.
Latimore retired in 2013 and passed away in 2018.
In his honor and memory, on Tuesday, September 7, the Mesquite City Council approved a resolution naming a future park to be located on North Bryan Avenue.
Mayor Bruce Archer read the resolution and made the presentation to the Latimore family.
He said, “Officer Latimore set the example for community policing by engaging with business owners and residents to listen to their concerns and help solve their problems. His influence on the entire community deserves a permanent reminder of his service.”
During his career Latimore received special recognition in 2005 from the NAACP as being the first African American police officer hired by the Mesquite Police Department, he was a member of the department’s choir and was on the Meritorious Conduct Board.
He served in the Operations Bureau as a patrol officer and field training officer, in the Criminal Investigations Division as a burglary and theft investigator and in the Technical Services Bureau in the property and evidence section.
Latimore held a Master Peace Officer’s Certificate and was a Certified Instructor by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
Latimore’s widow Debra, said during the presentation, “Our hearts are overflowing. I know Jon loved every day that he served, and he served to the upmost with a full heart. I want to thank you for recognizing and loving him the way we loved him. This is so amazing.”
Officer Jon Latimore Park will include a playground, basketball court, open space, and picnic tables.
The city plans to get input from the nearby neighborhood for other park amenities.