Vanguard police group swears in new officers

Ten police officers were sworn in yesterday as officers and board members of Vanguard Justice Society, signaling an overhaul of the advocacy group for minority police officers.

Each officer and board member was newly elected -- including the president, Sgt. Darryl Massey, a homicide detective supervisor known for his interrogation skills.


Massey said the 650-member group would have discussions with police leaders about what he described as a dearth of minorities and women in leadership positions.

"We'll sit down with the commissioner and come up with ways we can overcome those numbers," Massey said after yesterday's ceremony at police headquarters.


G. I. Johnson, who is the president of the Baltimore branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, and Commissioner Kevin P. Clark attended the ceremony.

Massey also promised to expand membership to 1,000 officers by the end of October and to improve relations between Vanguard and the police union.

The new officers and board members were elected last month to two-year terms and were formally sworn in by Circuit Judge Lynn Stewart.

The officers are: Massey, Sgt. Leonard A. Willis Jr. as vice president; Detective Edward H. Wilson as treasurer; Lt. Vernell Shaheed as secretary; and Detective Vincent Stevenson as sergeant at arms.

The board members are: Detective Kevin R. Turner; Detective Charles Koonce; Lt. Van Johnson; Sgt. Wayne Jones; and Sgt. Cecelia Phillips.