Chapter 2 examines the initial efforts made by African Americans to participate in law enforcement. Beginning with the ante-bellum and Reconstruction South, Dulaney traces the history of jobs held by African Americans in law enforcement. The emergence of African American police officers in the North is the main subject of Chapter 3.
In Chapters 4 and 5, Dulaney discusses African American police officers in the South following the Reconstruction Era and before the Civil Rights Movement. Chapter 6 focuses on the establishment of African American police organizations in the United States from the 1930s to the 1970s.
Chapter 7 highlights the administrative and leadership positions in law enforcement held by African Americans in the 1970s and 80s. In Chapter 8, Dulaney identifies what he calls the three generations of African American police officers: The "crime fighters" who comprised the African American officers who served from the Reconstruction period to the 1940s, the "reformers" who worked in the 1950s and 1960s, and the "professionals" who worked from the 1960s to the present.
In the first chapter, Dulaney attempts to establish his theory of the parallel relationship between African American history in the United States to the development of the first formal American police organizations (pp. 2-4). The colonies enacted myriad laws to regulate slave behavior due to slave resistance.