Son of fallen CPD officer carries on family legacy

March 27, 2013 3:01:03 AM PDT
Thirty years ago, Chicago Police Officer Larry Vincent was killed in the line of duty. On Tuesday, his son graduated from the police academy.

Photos of officers killed in the line of duty hang on a lobby wall in the Wentworth District police station. Among them is a photo of Larry Vincent, killed on January 14, 1983, during an exchange of gunfire with burglars. At the time of his death, Vincent's wife was pregnant, and they had two young sons.

On Tuesday, one of his children, Anthony Vincent, graduated from the Chicago Police Academy with Recruit Class 12-4.

"Always treasure the strength and love of family and friends because they brought you to this place today," Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said.

Vincent never got to know his father, but knows what his dad did, and knows what he wants to do.

"It's helping others. It's not just us out here. We're a family as a city, as a country. We all gotta help each other out. It's a service thing," Vincent said.

For the Vincents, it's also a generational thing. Vincent's dad was a cop, and his dad's dad was a cop. His mother, Marilyn Vincent Butler, approves.

"My husband made the ultimate sacrifice, so my fears were great. But at the same time, I'm so proud of Tony and I want him to be who he is, and I just trust in his judgment and trust in the Lord that everything's going to be OK for us and Tony's going to be doing what he wants to do, and that's the most important thing," Butler said.

For his graduation ceremony, Anthony polished up his father's police belt, and wore it in his honor. Now, the son charts his course.

"I want to learn. I still have some learning to do. There are a lot of problems out there. It starts with one, but we all gotta do it together, and I want to see violence in the community go down," Vincent said.

Vincent served in the U.S. Air Force before taking and passing the police exam. He is 32, which is three years older than when his dad lost his life. Vincent will be working the Wentworth District, where his dad worked and his father's picture hangs on the lobby wall.