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Former Police Supt. Fred Rice Dies

Fred Rice

Former Chicago Police Supt. Fred Rice (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Fred Rice, the first African-American Chicago Police superintendent, has died.

Rice, 84, passed away on Monday afternoon after a long struggle with lung cancer.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s Regine Schlesinger reports

Rice’s 32-year police career began in 1955 with the former Chicago Park Department Police, who were later merged into the Chicago Police Department.

After Mayor Harold Washington was elected in 1983, he chose Rice as police superintendent. Another African-American, Sam Nolan, was named acting superintendent for several weeks in 1979, but Rice was the first African-American appointed to the position, the Chicago Tribune reported.

When he became superintendent, the police force was racially polarized. Rice rankled some rank-and-file officers when he developed racially-integrated police teams, breaking up several squad car partners, the Tribune reported. Officers responded with a ticket-writing slowdown in 1983, the Tribune reported.

Rice held the post of police superintendent until 1987, when he was superseded by LeRoy Martin.

Rice’s daughter, Judith Rice, is a former city treasurer, and a former commissioner of the city departments of Water and Transportation. She tells the Chicago Tribune that funeral arrangements for her father are pending.

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