Monroe Coleman served 36 years in the Omaha Police Department and was the city’s first African-American to hold the post of deputy police chief. He was known as an excellent homicide detective and an important asset in the major crimes unit. He commanded respect from those who knew him. Everyone from the young people living in his north Omaha neighborhood to prominent elected city officials admired Deputy Chief Coleman for his high standards and uncompromising ethics.
Originally from Louisiana, Coleman’s family moved to Omaha when he was two years of age. He graduated valedictorian from Omaha South High School and studied sociology at Omaha University, now the University of Nebraska Omaha. He served in the armed forces during World War II and retired from the Army Reserve as a colonel. Coleman joined the Omaha Police Department in 1947, was promoted to captain in 1964—making him the first African American to achieve that rank in Omaha—and was deputy police chief by 1968. Following his successful, long-term career with the Omaha Police Department, Coleman retired in 1984 at the age of 65. He continued to live in Omaha and passed away at the age of 94 in November of 2013.
According to the Omaha World Herald, "Former Mayor Mike Boyle said Coleman set 'very high standards' for all officers to follow. 'What I remember is that he was a very ethical and honest man,' Boyle said. 'When he performed his duties as a police officer, he carried those principles with him. He was certainly a role model for all officers, not just African-Americans.'"
This renewable scholarship in his name is provided by the Black Police Officers Association of Omaha (BPOA) and is intended to help MCC students with a career interest in law enforcement who are pursuing a Criminal Justice degree.
- Financial need not required, but may be considered
- Students must be seeking Criminal Justice degree while majoring in Corrections or Law Enforcement (CJCNO or CJLEO)
- Cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above
- Intended to fund tuition, fees and books
Scholarships are usually offered during the spring and fall quarters. Scholarship availability varies depending on donor giving.