Villa Street Community Oriented Policing House
The Villa St. COP House was named to honor the legacy of Dr. Thelma Orr. Since the 1960s, Dr. Orr devoted her life to serving others. Through her service as an outreach worker for Family Planning, a field worker for the National Urban League, Human Resources Director for Franklin School, and
Director of the Urban League’s Kenosha, WI operation, Dr. Thelma Orr has demonstrated great selflessness and the principles of servant leadership.
Through her outreach and advocacy at the Urban League, Dr. Thelma Orr facilitated special civil service tutoring to help prepare minority applicants for the police and fire department examinations. Dr. Thelma Orr is directly responsible for the recruitment and development of many African American police
officers, including Racine’s first African American Chief of Police, Arthel Howell.
In 2009, the COP House located at 1009 Davis Pl. was named in honor of Dr. Thelma Orr. Following efforts to successfully stabilize the Davis Place neighborhood, this COP House was relocated to 1146 Villa St. in 2009.
On June 1, 2020, following national unrest in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, MN, arsonists extensively damaged the Dr. Thelma Orr COP House. Following the identification and charging of those involved, the COP House was restored and reopened on November 17, 2021, the date of the
establishment of the first COP Houses leases in Racine, November 17, 1993 at 233 Frank Av. and 1055 Grand Ave.
The Dr. Thelma Orr COP House is a Salvation Army Healthy Kids meal site and is home to Wisconsin Department of Correction Probation and Parole Agents. Racine Neighborhood Watch hosts monthly meetings here. Please contact Officer Colin Powell via email at
Colin.Powell@cityofracine.org for questions or concerns.