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Police Home > History > Clearwater Police - Chief Irving William Dribben

Chief Irving W. Dribben


1957 (January - November)

Irving William Dribben was born in Manhattan, New York, on July 26, 1901.  He attended grade school and high school there and was also a student at New York City Nautical College.

Dribben was a New York State Trooper assigned to Troop K between 1924 and 1928.  On March 22, 1929, he joined the New York City Police Department.

In 1931, he was promoted to Detective 3rd Grade and in 1940 to Detective 2nd Grade.  In 1943, he was promoted to Sergeant and wore shield #679.

Chief Irving W. Dribben

In 1944, he was designated as an Acting Lieutenant in the 18th Division.  Much of his career was spent in the Detective Division where he worked out of the Office of Attorney General Dewey while they investigated Murder, Incorporated.

On December 30, 1931, he was cited for “Excellent Police Duty” in stopping a runaway horse.  On March 24, 1941, he was again cited when he located and arrested three men who had shot and killed a man during a robbery.  He received a third commendation for “Excellent Police Duty” on April 9, 1945 for locating and arresting a man who had shot someone.

Irving Dribben was appointed as the Chief of Police of Clearwater upon the retirement of Chief George McClamma on January 1, 1957.  During his tenure as Chief, he was the first Chief to use “meter maids” for the enforcement of parking regulations.  He served until his retirement on November 4, 1957, when he was succeeded by Chief Willis Booth.

Upon leaving our department, Chief Dribben served as the Chief of St. Petersburg Beach Police Department until 1962.  Subsequent to that, he was the Director of the Clearwater Chamber of Commerce from 1963 to 1970.  He enjoyed a long and illustrious career in law enforcement spanning 38 years.  Chief Dribben retired and resided locally with his wife Annabelle.

Chief Dribben passed away after an extended illness on October 6, 1984.  Members of the Clearwater Police Department served as an Honor Guard at Chief Dribben’s funeral.  He was survived by his wife, Annabelle, his son, and six grandchildren.  Chief Dribben was laid to rest in Sylvan Abbey Memorial Park. 

If you have additional information on Chief Dribben's life and career, we would like to hear from you. Contact us at police@myclearwater.com.

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