He was a “Renaissance Man” born and raised in Harlem, NY during the Harlem Renaissance and Great Depression. After graduating from High School of Commerce in 1940, he worked as a crimp-ing press operator and a stenographer in Connecticut. In 1943 he was inducted into the United States Army (WW II) where he attained the rank of Tech Sergeant as an administrative noncommissioned officer. Prior to his induction into the Army, he took the NYPD test and was offered the job while still in the service. After receiving his honorable discharge, he joined the NYPD on February 15, 1946. He was 1 of 576 African Americans police officers! Officer Dandridge was assigned to various precincts in Harlem, which was the norm during those times.
Years later, on August 24, 1953, he married his life’s partner of 64.8 years, Dahlia George and this union produced a son, Antoine.
In 1957, Officer Dandridge was promoted to Detective and assigned to Manhattan East. In 1958, he passed the Sergeant’s test and was assigned to “Fort Apache” the 41th pct. in the Bronx. By 1963, he made Lieutenant and was given command of the 48th pct. detective squad. Only 3 African Americans had a similar assignment 1963! On April 15, 1969, the Lieutenant retired from the NYPD.
During 1969 many college campuses were in turmoil due to the war in Vietnam. The City College of the City University of New York began to search for a seasoned NYPD leader, who was familiar with Harlem and had NYPD contacts. Mr. Dandridge became the first Security Director of CCNY in 1971 and held the position until his second retirement in 1991.
In 1964, while still with NYPD, Mr. Dandridge became interested in the teachings of Theodore West, Sensei of the Nisei Ju-Jitsu Club located at 2411 Westchester Avenue in the Bronx. This fascination would turn into his lifelong journey of martial arts training and teaching. As of 1969, he earned his first degree black belt. At that time, he was training with his senior in Ju-Jitsu, Earl Monroe, Sensei. In 1976, Sensei Dandridge assumed control of the school at the request of his retiring instructor and began teaching 2 to 3 time per week. He produced several black belt students.Sensei Dandridge became his instructor’s highest-ranking student, obtaining Rukku dan (6th level black belt), and given the title of Professor.
In 1990, he became the “visiting Professor” to the New Rochelle Institute of Combative Arts, visiting weekly.In 2006 with the passing of his instructor, Prof. Dandridge inherited the Nisei Ju-Jitsu system.Upon his retirement in 2012, Prof. Dandridge appointed his senior student, Raymond A. Fitzpatrick, as head of the Nisei Ju-Jitsu system.