JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former Jacksonville Sheriff Nathaniel “Nat” Glover will be inducted on Saturday into the Florida Law Enforcement Officers’ Hall of Fame.
Glover, 78, a law enforcement veteran with decades of experience, rose through the ranks of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and was elected Florida’s first Black sheriff since the Reconstruction era in 1995.
He held that office until 2003 and went on to become president of Edward Waters College.
Glover told News4Jax a little run-in with the law when he was growing up in Jacksonville shaped his future as a cop.
“I think it was a significant incident and when you look at my total life it played an important part,” Glover said. “I was arrested after leaving Morrison’s Cafeteria with two napkins in my pocket. Of course, I tried to tell the police officers that we used them as handkerchiefs. They, of course, had other objectives and I ended up in jail.”
Glover thought that arrest caused the JSO to not answer when he applied to be an officer. His brother asked a JSO officer he knew to help. That officer got in touch with the mayor at the time -- Lou Ritter -- who took Glover to the Civil Service Administration and insisted that he be given the test to become a cop.
Glover is one of five 2021 inductees who will be honored this weekend in Tallahassee. They’ll be joined by five 2020 Law Enforcement Hall of Fame inductees.
And most people who are inducted into the Hall of Fame have retired, not Glover.
“As you know it’s hard (for me) to retire because there’s always something else to do,” he said. “And I’ll always be in public service. Which is what I always wanted to do anyway.”
FLDE Commissioner Rick Swearingen will preside over the ceremony, which is being held at 10 a.m. Saturday in the Capitol Courtyard in Tallahassee. Glover said it’s a very special honor and he expects it to be very emotional.
Formed in 2014 by the Florida Legislature, the state Law Enforcement Hall of Fame recognizes officers who have distinguished themselves in their careers and the line of duty.