ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- The job of a police officer is to protect and serve and in some cases, lay down their life in the line of duty. Family and friends remember one Rockford officer who did just that, Detective Kevin Rice, Sr., who was killed 13 years ago.
Rice worked for 7 years on the Rockford gang unit alongside Theo Glover, now the police chief for the Rockford Park District. Glover says his granddaughter’s birthday now falls on the anniversary of his partner’s death, making it a bittersweet day. Glover adds, he often stops at Rice’s gravesite to reminisce and talk about problems, usually playing Rice’s favorite song “A Change is Gonna Come” on his smartphone.
“When you have a bond, I feel like I can run things past him like I used to do when he was here,” says Theo Glover. “We were our own counselors if you will, if we have a problem, we would talk the problem out, come up with a solution. Usually it was the right thing we would come up with so I still carry that over."
Kevin Rice Sr. served 14 years on the Rockford Police Department. On August 3, 2001, he was off duty and driving to his sister's house when he saw something suspicious. Rice pulled over two men to ask them some questions and one of the men shot Rice six times. The shooter, William Buck, was convicted and sentenced to 60 years in prison for the murder.
Rice’s family and Glover both say the best way the fallen officer’s legacy lives on is through the scholarship in his name at Rock Valley College. The Kevin Rice, Sr. Memorial Scholarship is given to students studying Criminal Justice/ Police Science