JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Hundreds of police officers joined family and friends Tuesday for the homegoing ceremony for former Jacksonville Sheriff's Office Chief L. Jerome Spates. He was 69 years old.

Spates retired in 2004 after 37 years with the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, rising to become the departments first African-American chief of detectives.

He was raised in Jacksonville, graduating from Stanton High School, then attending Edward Waters College and went on to receive a masters degree from Nova University. He also was a Vietnam-era veteran of the U.S. Air Force.

After his retirement from the JSO, Spates ran for a City Council seat.

Spates is survived by his wife of 49 years, Gladys, two sons, five grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.

Services were held at the Second Missionary Baptist Church with interment at Jacksonville National Cemetery.