Chief John E. Swift, Sr.
Due to the unavailability of records for this period, information
on the career of Chief John E. Swift is incomplete. It is known that he joined the Clearwater Police
Department in 1927 as a patrolman.
His advancement in rank, other than his appointment
as Chief of Police on August 7, 1944, is unknown.
As a patrolman, he was cited on December 2, 1929 for
his role in the apprehension of a man who had shot and killed
a St. Petersburg Police Department motorcycle officer.
(Additional information on this incident can be found
in the biography of Chief E. F. Gross.)
Swift and the Clearwater Police Department were featured in
the October 1946 issue of the “Florida Peace Officer” magazine.
Information from that issue is quoted, in part, below:
County Seat of Pinellas County, situated on the Gulf of Mexico,
one of Florida’s most beautiful cities…has a streamlined police
department that size-for-size compares most favorably with the best
to be found anywhere in the United States.
Although the personnel of this department at present numbers
only 21 officers, it is ably serving a city that has burgeoned from
a population of some 7,000 in 1930 to around 17,000 in the present
Chief Swift is one of the Florida police chiefs who have found their
way to the top through long years of efficient service in all departments
of city policing…During the two years that he has been heading the
Clearwater department, Chief Swift has streamlined the force in
an effective manner. He demands loyal, efficient service from the
members of his force and has formed a team of officers capable of
handling all routine forms of law enforcement and able to meet any
Chief Swift established the first detective
bureau within the department in 1946.
He resigned from the department in late 1946 and was succeeded
in Chief J.J. Elliott. Chief Swift passed away in Pinellas County
on May 20, 1951.
If you have additional information on Chief Swift's life and career,
we would like to hear from you. Contact us at email@example.com.
to Clearwater Police Chiefs