Former Cleveland police Chief Edward Kovacic dies at 88

October 1, 2018

Former Cleveland police Chief Edward Kovacic dies at 88

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Former Cleveland police Chief Edward Kovacic died Sunday at the age of 88, his family said.

Kovacic, who served as head of the Cleveland police department from 1990 to 1993, suffered a stroke Saturday afternoon. He was rushed to a hospital, where he died Sunday.

“One of the best Chiefs that I have served under,” said Brian Betley, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police union that represents police supervisors. “Respected by everyone.”

Kovacic earned a reputation for being tough but fair during a law enforcement career that spanned more than 40 years, according to The Plain Dealer.

He was first sworn in as a police officer in 1959 and spent time as a patrolman and detective. He investigated organized crime, and helped find Danny Greene’s killers after the notorious mobster was killed by a car bomb.

Kovacic left the Cleveland police department in 1985 to become chief of detectives for the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office. But he returned in 1990, after former Cleveland Mayor Michael R. White hired him as chief.

He took over at a period of turmoil, in the wake of the Arthur Feckner scandal that involved drug charges against five detectives. All five were eventually acquitted.

He set out to repair the department’s image, establishing an awards ceremony to recognize police officers’ good deeds. He also helped raise money for a memorial to honor cops killed in the line of duty.

Kovacic was a Cleveland native who grew up in the neighborhood by East 96th Street and St. Clair Avenue. He graduated from Cathedral Latin School and later joined the Army.

The family has not yet announced funeral arrangements.

Cleveland.com reporter Adam Ferrise contributed to this story.

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