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Truro man remembers being an NYPD officer in the 1960s

Henry Glover was one of a handful of black officers in the New York Police Department in the late 1960s and early ’70s.
Henry Glover was one of a handful of black officers in the New York Police Department in the late 1960s and early ’70s. - Fram Dinshaw
TRURO, N.S. —

Three per cent.

That was the proportion of black officers in the New York Police Department 50 years ago, which then had about 35,000 members total.

And Henry Glover was a member of the three per cent.

“Every walk of life – even being a police officer – you’d expect racism,” said Glover, who now lives in Truro.

Typically, crimes committed against white people warranted a full investigation, proper collection of evidence and exhaustive interviews with suspects and witnesses.

But the NYPD would spend far less time investigating crimes against black New Yorkers in the 1960s.

While racism was an everyday occurrence for Glover, the Big Apple’s streets were not always mean.

In 1973, he met his wife when he was still with the NYPD; she was a bookkeeper.

“We fell in love,” said Glover, a man of few words.

As it happened, his wife was a Canadian and the cousin of Truro-born Jeanette Paris.

They both retired in 1990 and Glover moved to Canada for good in 2010.

He said the racism encountered in Truro was less “in your face” than that of the United States, often subtle hostility or suspicion from people typically over 50.

Nonetheless, it is a far cry from Glover’s birthplace of Orangeburg, South Carolina. When he was born in 1938, schools, parks, restaurants and other public places were racially segregated, with black people even forced to use separate water fountains. Anyone who broke the rules could be lynched.

Glover and his wife, Paris and their fellow African Nova Scotians in Truro marveled at how far they’ve come in life despite such formidable obstacles.

“There’s a certain amount of pride in people like her and myself, because we’ve been there, done that, we don’t look down at a person,” said Glover. “We look right at them, wherever we are.”

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