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Police Home > History > Clearwater Police - Chief John R. McMullen

Chief John R. McMullen

1927 - 1929

John 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:

"Chief 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.”

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

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