LEROY STOVER: “You live right, you treat people right, right will follow you,” he said. PHOTOS COURTESY OF LAWOFFICER.COM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – The City of Birmingham’s first Black police officer, Leroy Stover, has died. He was 90. Birmingham Police on Friday posted about Stover’s death on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“Today, our hearts are heavy as we mourn the loss of former Deputy Chief Leroy Stover. As the first black officer to integrate the Birmingham force, his legacy and work at the Birmingham Police Department paved a way for others to follow in his footsteps,” the department said.

Stover died Thursday, al.com reported. He was 90 years old. The police department did not share a cause of death. Funeral arrangements are pending.

Stover joined the force in March 1966 at the age of 33 and rose to the rank of deputy chief. He retired in 1998, with 32 years of service, news outlets reported.

“We offer our full condolences to the family and know that he would forever be in our hearts and mind,” the police department’s statement said.

In 2021, while reflecting on his career, the Birmingham Police Department quoted Stover as saying, “You live right, you treat people right, right will follow you.”

The Dallas County native was the valedictorian of his graduating class at Shiloh High School in Selma in 1952. He joined the U.S. Army and became a paratrooper first with the 82nd Airborne. In the last year of the Korean War in 1952-53, he was with the 187th Airborne Regimental Combat Team, the news site reported.