Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Michigan is proud to celebrate Local Black Heroes in honor of Black History Month. Join us on social media and our website throughout February to learn more about the impact of local heroes in your community.
Captain Stacey Randolph Ledbetter (ret) is a powerful pioneer in the field of law enforcement. After over two decades of service with Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS), Ledbetter- the first Black woman sergeant, lieutenant, then captain– retired and founded Black & Blue Networking & Consulting, LLC.
Her consulting group teaches cadets about urban communities of color, and how to have honest conversations.
Beyond her consulting work, Ledbetter is also the Law Design Team Lead and Racial Healing Practitioner Leader/Trainer for Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation(TRHT) Kalamazoo.
The goal of THRT is, “…to unearth and jettison the deeply embedded belief in a hierarchy of human value that sustains racism, to recognize the history and continued trauma resulting from that belief, and to create policy solutions that will sustain healing and structural change…”
Through THRT, her work with KDPS, and her consulting, Ledbetter’s anti-racism work and drive create a safer community for all.
An Inspirational Collective
When asked about her mentors and inspiration, Ledbetter shared that it has truly been a village. While her parents instilled the value of service to others in her, other people were “angels” who helped guide and protect her.
Sgt. Robert “Al” Goodwin (active from 1951-1976) is one of Ledbetter’s biggest inspirations. Goodwin was the first Black KDPS officer to retire from the force “despite enduring racism within the department….”
Ledbetter explains that she also finds inspiration in other pioneering Black officers, like Mr. Albert T. Hampton, who fought for Black officers to be hired, as well as Cerelyn “CJ” Davis.
Davis is the current Chief of Police in Durham, NC and a Past President of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE). Ledbetter is also a member. “I learned from [Davis] to connect with local businesses to collaborate with law enforcement… to build positive relationships with the community…” Ledbetter says. Davis’s advice and mentorship led to many of the successful initiatives Ledbetter implemented in the Kalamazoo community.
Outside of work, Ledbetter serves the community by sharing her time and knowledge. She shares her personal experience and testimony to provide encouragement to others. Ledbetter is part of the NAACP, NOBLE, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and serves as a board member for LIFT.
Co-creating Cops who Care, a pilot program through BBBS where officers had the opportunity to serve as Bigs, Ledbetter was also a Big Sister. She mentored, making a lifelong impact on her Little Sister Lennisha for nearly 4 years. You can get involved as a Big too. Learn more here.
Not only has Ledbetter been a pioneer in law enforcement, but she has served her community without ceasing.
Her work to bridge the gap between law enforcement and people of color will change the trajectory of the Kalamazoo community for years to come.
Find Local Black Heroes throughout the month of February on social media and on our website. Visit ThinkBigToday.org/Volunteer for more information about how you can ignite the power and potential of youth in Southwest Michigan.