DES MOINES, Iowa - As Black History Month comes to a close, the Des Moines Police Department honored its first and only black police captain Friday morning.
Captain Richard L. Sanders was promoted to his rank at the age of 56. Joining the force in 1962 - at the height of racial tensions - Captain Sanders say his fellow white police officers treated him like a brother. He walked the beat in north Des Moines, where race riots were common at the time, and his fellow officers volunteered to walk with him.
"Everybody gets along well together," he said. "And they look at it, they don't look at it as a 'black officer' or a 'white officer' at the police department. They look at it as a policeman, a police officer. And they all work together, get together, and we're all family."
Captain Sanders retired from the Des Moines Police force in 1993.