Samuel James Battle was the first black police officer in New York City.
After attending segregated schools in North Carolina, Sam Battle moved north, first to Connecticut, then to New York City, where he took a job as a train porter and began studying for the New York City Police Department civil service exam. He was sworn in on March 6, 1911.
Battle was present during the induction of the 1938 police cadet class. Battle himself swears in Will Reeves, after his' graduation from the police academy. Reeves tells Battle he joined because of him, to which Battle warns him to "Beware of the Cyclops" which confuses Reeves.