Inventory of the Reuben Greenberg Papers, 1990 - 1997

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Reuben Greenberg (born 1943) was appointed Chief of Police of the Charleston Police Department in 1982, becoming the the first African American and first Jewish Chief of Police in Charleston, South Carolina. During his tenure (1982-2005), Reuben became known nationally and internationally for his innovative and controversial approach to fighting crime through prevention rather than reaction.
This collection consists of correspondence, articles, program and other miscellaneous materials from the career of Charleston's African American Jewish Police Chief Reuben Greenberg, 1990-1997. Arranged by material, this collection includes numerous articles and publications that detail Greenberg's professional philosophy, crime fighting methods, and surrounding controversies as well as autobiographical details. Also included are awards and programs for events honoring Greenberg and letters, chiefly of thanks, regarding speeches and workshops delivered by Greenberg.
Title: Reuben Greenberg Papers, 1990 - 1997
Creator: Greenberg, Reuben.
Repository: Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston
Call Number: AMN 1079
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 0.5 linear feet
(2 archival boxes)

Biographical Note

Reuben Greenberg (born 1943) was appointed Chief of Police of the Charleston Police Department in 1982, becoming the the first African American and first Jewish Chief of Police in Charleston, South Carolina. During his tenure (1982-2005), Reuben became known nationally and internationally for his innovative and controversial approach to fighting crime through prevention rather than reaction.

Reuben M. Greenberg was born in Texas in 1943. Raised a Methodist, he converted to Judaism, the religion of his Ukrainian paternal grandfather, in 1965 while he was a student activist in the civil rights movement in San Francisco. He was educated in California, earning a B.A. degree from San Francisco State in 1967 as well as a Masters in Public Administration in 1969 and a Masters in City Planning in 1975, both from the University of California at Berkeley.

After serving in police forces in Savannah, Georgia and various cities in Florida, he was appointed to Chief of Police of the Charleston Police Department on April 12, 1982. The first African American and first Jewish Chief of Police in Charleston, Greenberg became known for his innovative and controversial approach to fighting crime through prevention rather than reaction. During his tenure, the city of Charleston saw a drastic reduction in crime rates, leading Greenberg to travel within the country and abroad to discuss his tactics and their efficacy, producing several publications as well as receiving numerous awards and making frequent appearances on television and radio shows. He retired in 2005.

Greenberg held a position as Assistant Professor at California State University, Hayward, where he taught Sociology. He taught Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Criminal Justice at Florida International University.

Chief Greenberg was a member of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Executives and the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He served on the National Institute of Corrections Advisory Board and as an elected officer of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Officers Association. He appeared on national television shows, including "60 Minutes," "Cross Fire," "The Morton Downey Show," "Modern Maturity," "The Editors," "Good Morning America," "The Today Show," "The 700 Club," and "Larry King Live."

Greenberg authored a number of police related articles and has appeared as a guest columnist for several newspapers, most notably the Detroit News. His first book, Let's Take Back Our Streets, was published in November 1989.

Chief Greenberg received the 1989 Achievement Award from the Foundation for Improvement of Justice. In September 1991, he was named Justice Professional of the Year by the Southern Criminal Justice Association.

»Source: Program, 29th Council Meeting, Police Federation of Australia and New Zealand, Melbourne, September 1992.


Collection Overview

This collection consists of correspondence, articles, program and other miscellaneous materials from the career of Charleston's African American Jewish Police Chief Reuben Greenberg, 1990-1997. Arranged by material, this collection includes numerous articles and publications that detail Greenberg's professional philosophy, crime fighting methods, and surrounding controversies as well as autobiographical details. Also included are awards and programs for events honoring Greenberg and letters, chiefly of thanks, regarding speeches and workshops delivered by Greenberg.

Collection Arrangement

1. Law Enforcement Career and Other Materials, 1990-1997



Subject Headings

  • African American police -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • African American police chiefs -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Greenberg, Reuben.
  • Law enforcement -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Police chiefs -- South Carolina -- Charleston.


Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Law Enforcement Career and Other Materials, 1990-1997.

   Folder 1
Articles, 1990-1993
   Folder 2
Programs and Awards, 1991-1996
   Folder 3
Letters to Reuben Greenberg, 1992-1993
   Folder 4
National Railway Bulletin, 1997
Issue no. 4 includes the article "A Northern Railroad Meets Jim Crow."


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Reuben Greenberg Papers, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.

Processing Information

Processed by Rachel Allen and Amanda Ross, November 2009

Encoded by Amanda Ross, November 2009

Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the collection processing and encoding of this finding aid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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