The Buffalo Police Department's first black patrolman was
George C. Sarsnett, 31 years old when appointed from a civil
service list, on March 15, 1918.
Patrolman Sarsnett was assigned patrol duty at Precinct 4,
located at the time at 161 Sycamore Street, where he work his
entire19 years on the department until his death, caused by
pneumonia, at the age of 49 on February 9, 1937
The second black patrolman appointed, a year later, was 22
year old Oliver M. Bragg, also appointed from a civil service
list, on July 18, 1919. Initially assigned to Precinct
Patrolman Bragg was promoted to Detective on January 31,
1946 and assigned to the detective bureau.
Detective Bragg retired on January 1, 1962 with 43 year of
service as a member of the Buffalo Police Department, he
passed away at the age of 76 on June 5, 1974.
The Buffalo Police Department had only one active black
member on the force from 1937 until1943 when, then Mayor of
the City of Buffalo, Joseph J. Kelly called in members of the
Civil Service Commission, and, then Buffalo Police
Commissioner Charles E. Cannan (lt Richard Doyle's
Grandfather), in to his office and insisted that
certified for service in the Buffalo Police Department.