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.
rise through the ranks began with his promotion to Sergeant
on August 16, 1949. Advancement
to Captain followed on July 28, 1953.
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.
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