John R. McMullen
1927 - 1929
R. McMullen, a descendant of the pioneer McMullen family of
this area, was born on June 4, 1881 in an area of Hillsborough
County which later became Pinellas County. Records for the
period in which he was a member of the Clearwater Police Department
are not available; however, it is known that he was appointed
Chief of Police in 1927, when Chief Gideon Powledge left to
become the Chief of the Tallahassee Police Department.
Information about Chief McMullen, found in a copy of “The
Police Review” circa 1927, is reproduced below, in part:
McMullen has organized the Clearwater (Police) Department in a modern
manner. He believes in a
reasonable state of discipline in a police department, and so has
welded his seven men into a well-disciplined, smooth-working department. Every man understands what is expected of him,
and is always found functioning in an approved manner. There
is a spirit of cooperation existing in the department which is not
always found. There are
no petty jealousies, no friction in the machine.
Everyone is working as a part of the machine, and therefore,
the department gets results.
The Chief belongs to the modern school of police officers. That is to say, he doesn’t approve of a whole lot of roughneck tactics
in the work. Instead of
force, he uses intelligence and courtesy and really gets better
results than were possible to be achieved when officers were of
the old type. While Chief McMullen is a comparatively new
member of the Clearwater Department, he is proven very popular. His efficiency is attested by the peaceable
and well-ordered city Clearwater is under his administration.”
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