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Former LAPD Chief Daryl Gates Dies

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Daryl F. Gates, the Los Angeles police chief who saw the department through the Rodney King trial and the subsequent L.A. riots, died today of cancer at 83. He was at his Newport Beach home with his family.

Gates was born on August 30, 1926 and grew up in the Glandale and Highland Park areas. Except for two years when he was in the Navy, Gates lives in Southern California, even graduating from USC. He joined the LAPD in 1949, working his way up to be the 49th Chief in 1978 and staying in the position until 1992, after the riots.

“Daryl Francis Gates was a one-in-a-million human being," said Chief Charlie Beck. "He inspired others to succeed and, in doing so, changed the landscape of law enforcement around the world.”

Gates also led the department during the 1984 Olympic summer games and during difficult economic times. He is credited for creating the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program and is considered the father of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams.