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The Honorable Terry Hillard

Former Chicago police superintendent Terry G. Hillard was born on August 11, 1943 in South Fulton, Tennessee. One of ten children, Hillard’s family moved to Chicago when he was still young. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1963 and served in Vietnam for thirteen months where he was awarded four medals and a Presidential Unit citation. After returning to Chicago in 1968, Hillard entered the Chicago Police Training Academy. He also attended Chicago’s Loop Junior College where he earned his A.A. degree. He went on to receive his B.S. and M.S. degrees in corrections from Chicago State University in 1976 and 1978, respectively.

Hillard worked his way through the police ranks, becoming a patrol officer after Police Training Academy. He then served as a gang crimes specialist and was shot twice in the line of duty. In 1979, Hillard was chosen to be a member of the Mayoral Executive Security Detail and served under Chicago Mayors Jane M. Byrne and Harold Washington. He was later promoted to Intelligence Division Sergeant, 6th District commander, and became Chicago’s first African American chief of detectives. He then became coordinator of the Chicago Terrorist Task Force. He was serving as lieutenant in gang crimes and narcotics when Mayor Richard M. Daley appointed him as the police superintendent for the city of Chicago where he served for five years before retiring. In 2004, he co-founded and became partner at Hillard Heintze.

Hillard has received several awards for his courage in the police force including the Blue Star Award, the Police Medal, and the Superintendent’s Award of Valor. He holds Honorary Doctoral degrees from Lewis University, Saint Xavier University, and Calumet College of Saint Joseph. In 2005, he contributed to the book Chicago Police: An Inside View – The Story of Superintendent Terry G. Hillard, written about his leadership in the Chicago Police Department.

Hillard lives with his wife Dorothy and their two children, Terri Lee and Dana.

Terry Hillard was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 24, 2010.

Accession Number

A2010.036

Sex

Male

Interview Date

5/24/2010

Last Name

Hillard

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

G.

Schools

Rosenwald School

Wendell Phillips Elementary School

Wendell Phillips Academy High School

Loop Junior College

Chicago State University

First Name

Terry

Birth City, State, Country

South Fulton

HM ID

HIL12

Favorite Season

Christmas

State

Tennessee

Favorite Vacation Destination

Sun Valley, Idaho

Favorite Quote

Doggone-it.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Illinois

Interview Description
Birth Date

8/11/1943

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Chicago

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Fried Chicken

Short Description

Police superintendent The Honorable Terry Hillard (1943 - ) served with the Chicago Police Department for thirty-five years before becoming co-founder and Partner of Hillard Heintze.

Employment

Hillard Heintze

Chicago Police Department

Chicago NAACP office

Chicago American

U.S. Marine Corps

Favorite Color

Brown

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of The Honorable Terry Hillard's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - The Honorable Terry Hillard lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - The Honorable Terry Hillard describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls his neighborhood in South Fulton, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - The Honorable Terry Hillard describes his stepfather's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - The Honorable Terry Hillard describes his birth father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls his stepfather's career

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers how his mother and stepfather met

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - The Honorable Terry Hillard describes his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers segregation in South Fulton, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - The Honorable Terry Hillard describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls the baseball teams of his youth

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - The Honorable Terry Hillard describes his family

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers the Hopkins Restaurant and Cafe

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers his second grade teacher, Miss Mason

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers playing basketball in South Fulton, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls camping at Kentucky Lake

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls moving to Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - The Honorable Terry Hillard describes his first impressions of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - The Honorable Terry Hillard describes his neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 2 Story: 11 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers the DuSable High School basketball team

Tape: 2 Story: 12 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers his family's first television set

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers Sylvester Washington

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers Robert M. Harness

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers Wendell Phillips Elementary School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls men's fashion styles on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls his suspension from Wendell Phillips High School in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - The Honorable Terry Hillard describes his religious upbringing

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls selling Chicago American newspapers

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls working for the NAACP

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers his arrest at Rainbow Beach Park in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers Reverend Joseph H. Jackson

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls leaving his family's home

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - The Honorable Terry Hillard reflects upon his experience with the NAACP

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls his decision to join the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers the Vietnam War, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers the Vietnam War, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls racial discrimination in the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers the protests against the Vietnam War

Tape: 4 Story: 11 - The Honorable Terry Hillard describes his challenges in the U.S. Marine Corps

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls his decision to enroll in the Chicago Police Academy

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls racial discrimination in the Chicago Police Department

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers working for the Chicago Transit Authority

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - The Honorable Terry Hillard describes his training at the Chicago Police Academy

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls his white police partner

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers the leaders of the Chicago Police Department

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls being assigned to the Area Two Task Force

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls policing the Burnside neighborhood in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - The Honorable Terry Hillard remembers Loop Junior College in Chicago, Illinois

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - The Honorable Terry Hillard talks about his wife

DASession

1$1

DATape

2$5

DAStory

9$2

DATitle
The Honorable Terry Hillard describes his first impressions of Chicago, Illinois
The Honorable Terry Hillard recalls racial discrimination in the Chicago Police Department
Transcript
(Simultaneous) What was your first impression of the street of Chicago [Illinois]? Were you--?$$I remember when my Aunt Rose [ph.] stayed at 44th [Street] and Prairie [Avenue], and the "L" [elevated train] track was right behind it. And the first time that we ever--the "L" came by and this doggone noise--man, it was terrifying. I mean it was, oh, man, you talking about some kids that was--we were scared out of our minds, you know. Because the "L," we never heard noise like that before, you know. That doggone thing up in the air running on those doggone--you know, you got to realize, you know, we didn't have a bus in South Fulton, Tennessee, you know. The only bus we had was to take the kids from--we would--the basketball team would go from Fulton [Kentucky] to Union City [Tennessee], or to Martin [Tennessee] or up in Murray [Kentucky], or what'cha call it, to play basketball. You know, and that was one of them yellow school buses, you know. But then to see a doggone--what you call a train. The only train we'd ever seen was an Illinois Central [Illinois Central Railroad] train, not no doggone train that make this much noise, man. It was deafening, you know, you couldn't hear yourself talk, you know. Then to come up here and just to see how big this place was, you know. A one block area in Chicago was like two or three blocks, what we call blocks, in South Fulton, you know. And we stayed on doggone South Park [South Parkway; Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive], you know, with not only this side, but then with the inner drive with the doggone parkway on each side of doggone South Park. And then there was the inner drive over there on the other side, you know. That doggone street was, even the doggone downtown section wasn't that large, you know. And it was just, it was something. And then to see all the different stores and all the different folks, you know, this many people standing in an area, you know. It was, it was an eye-opener.$Well, let me ask you this. Now, it seems to me that about that time--and we've interviewed some of the other people like [HistoryMaker] Renault Robinson and others--was the Chicago Police Department, you know, pushing to bring more black officers on board during that time period? Because it seems like a lot of people were coming on. Schoolteachers had quit their jobs and joined (simultaneous).$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, but it was reluctantly, you know, reluctantly, yeah, you know. It wasn't like they was in the black community, like we did when I was superintendent, recruiting for minorities; but reluctantly, yeah.$$Okay. Because there was some kind of decree, wasn't there?$$Yeah, a consent decree.$$Okay.$$Judge Marshall, yeah.$$Okay.$$And I messed around there and (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, Ernest Marshall [sic. Prentice Marshall], right.$$Yeah. And so I messed around there and I went and put my name in. And I just happened to see one of the guys who was a precinct captain for Dawson [William L. Dawson]. He said, "Well, if you want to become a policeman, you need to go down and see the congressman and all that, you know." I said, "Well, why do I need to see the congressman, you know?" "Well, just go see the congressman, you know, and they will--." I said, "Why do I need to see the congressman? I'm just going to take a test, a whatchamacallit, you know." And being naive, just out of the [U.S.] Marine Corps, you know, I didn't realize it at the time. But after a couple of days and I'm telling a couple of people, they say, "Well, how much money you got?" I said, "I ain't got no money. I left the Marine Corps, and I think I must have left there with about three or four hundred bucks [dollars], you know." And they said, "Well, it might be what--." I said, "No, I ain't giving nobody no money for no job. I ain't paying nobody for no job." So, I got on the police department, and I didn't see nobody and didn't ask nobody, you know. But contrary to the popular belief, they said, "Well, they're going to exclude you because you don't have a sponsor." I said, "What do you mean?" I said, "I was in the Marine Corps for four years; I was in Vietnam, you know." "No, you don't have a sponsor. You need a sponsor. And if you don't pass the test," he said, "they're going to get you because of your feet." And what was that, having to do with your arch? You've got (simultaneous)--$$(Simultaneous) Fallen arches?$$-fallen arches, you know. I said, "I ain't got no fallen arches." He said, "Well, let the doctor, the medical doctor, you know--." I said, "Man, I ain't got no--." I said, "I got my doggone thing from the Marine Corps." I told him, "I came out in perfect health, you know. And I went through, and didn't nobody ask me--I went through the medical, and they didn't knock me out, you know."$$So, these are the common things they were excluding people for (simultaneous)?$$(Simultaneous) Yeah, yeah, yeah, man, fallen arches and things. Oh, man, it was just a rash of things, especially when it came down to minorities, you know.