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Frank Leaphart, Irmo's first Black officer and a former police chief, dies

Frank Leaphart was 83 years old.

IRMO, S.C. — The town of Irmo, on Saturday, said a heartfelt goodbye to someone who not only became a fixture of the community - but made history.

Frank Leaphart was served as the chief of police in Irmo from 1972 until 1980. One of his friends, Brian Pena, who grew up with one of Frank's daughters, said he was a kind spirit whose door was always open.

Brian was there in the last moments of Frank's life.

"The biggest lesson that I've gained from knowing Chief Frank Leaphart is the kindness that he shows. Law enforcement sometimes gets a difficult wrap in the community or throughout the country. In the town of Irmo, it's nothing like that," Brian said. "People are constantly bringing them cupcakes and bringing them food and supporting the police department. Frank Leaphart, I think embodies that, embodies the kindness of the community."

Police said his funeral has been set for Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Temples Halloran Chapel in Irmo. Leaphart was 83 years old.