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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Wilmington Police Department is mourning the loss of a trailblazing officer who died over the weekend.

Sgt. Edward Lee Haynes dies at his Wilmington home Sunday from medical complications. He was 92 years old.

WPD described Haynes, who was a 30-year veteran of the force, as a historic figure in the city. He was one of the first African Americans WPD hired since the race riot of 1898, when he joined the department in 1954 along with William Hall.

According to a WPD news release, co-workers remember Haynes’s favorite section of town to work was Dawson Street. He was a familiar face to the residents in that community and known for chasing away loiterers, drug dealers and people who gambled on the streets.

Haynes retired from the Wilmington Police Department in 1984.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete at this time. Sgt. Haynes leaves behind two daughters and one son.

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