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Police Home > History > Clearwater Police - Chief Willis D. Booth
Chief Willis D. Booth

Chief Willis D. Booth

1957 - 1968

Willis D. Booth was born on November 12, 1924 in Safety Harbor, Florida. He is the great grandson of Count Odet Phillippi, head surgeon in Napoleonís Navy, generally credited with being the first settler of the Pinellas Peninsula and originator of its fine citrus groves. After attending secondary schools in Pinellas County, Booth graduated from Clearwater High School in 1942. Willis Booth started his career in law enforcement as a patrolman when he joined the Clearwater Police Department on September 6, 1947.

His rise through the ranks began with his promotion to Sergeant on August 16, 1949. Advancement to Captain followed on July 28, 1953. Prior to his appointment to Chief on November 4, 1957, he served as the senior Captain and had served as Acting Chief during vacations and other absences. He succeeded Chief Irving Dribben upon Dribbenís retirement.

Chief Booth was a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and served as a member of the Public Relations Committee in 1963. He also served on the Membership Committee and on the Regional Committee on Education and Training for Florida, Georgia, and Alabama. He was a member of the Board of Directors of the Florida Police Chiefs Association and was also the President. He served as President of Tampa Bay Area Chiefs of Police Association and as Chairman of the Training and Education Committee. He graduated from the Southern Police Institute in 1953. He also served as a Director of the Rotary Club.

Chief Booth retired to accept the position of Assistant Director of the Florida Bureau of Law Enforcement in 1968, now known as the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in Tallahassee.

If you have additional information on Chief Booth's life and career, we would like to hear from you. Contact us at

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