WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.), co-chair of the Senate Law Enforcement Caucus, issued the following statement on the passing of retired Chief Eugene C. Petty of the New Castle City Police Department.

"Chief Eugene C. Petty, a devoted patriot who served his country during World War II, was a respected community leader, advocate, and 25-year veteran of the New Castle City Police. I got to know Chief Petty when I was county executive, working with him on projects like the Buttonwood Colored School Community Center and Museum. As one of the first Black police chiefs in Delaware, he faced adversity and bias during his career and persevered by devoting himself to mentorship and the imperative work of bridging racial divides. For his service to his city, community, and country, we owe him a debt of gratitude. As we observe Black History Month, we must remember Chief Petty not only now but forever in our hearts as he embodied what it truly means to be an American."