Col. Holden, first black to lead NC Patrol, dies - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Col. Holden, first black to lead NC Patrol, dies

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CARY, N.C. -

Col. Richard Holden of Cary, the first African-American to lead the North Carolina Highway Patrol, died Thursday, according to Lea Funeral Home.

His funeral will be Aug. 27 at noon at First Baptist Church in Raleigh. Visitation will be Wednesday from 11 a.m. until noon.

Holden retired in 2004 after leading the Highway Patrol for five years. He remained as an adviser to Gov. Mike Easley at the time.

Easley, in a statement at Holden's retirement, said, "Under his leadership, the State Highway Patrol renewed focus on traffic safety and ways to reduce crashes and fatalities. Col. Holden oversaw implementation of the emergency lane reversal evacuation process for Interstate 40 in the eastern part of the state, and worked hard to ensure that his troopers had the most effective equipment, weapons and training."

Holden was one of the original black cadets to enter the Basic Patrol School.

A Wendell native, Holden attended North Carolina A&T and began his patrol career in Fayetteville in 1969.

Holden was married to Sandra Daye Holden and has a daughter, Shonda, and son, Richard, Jr.

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