Sheriff John Monroe Summerlin

Sheriff John Monroe Summerlin

Okaloosa County Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Friday, January 21, 1921

John Monroe Summerlin

Sheriff John Summerlin was killed when his vehicle was struck by a train at a railroad crossing one mile east of Crestview.

A representative from the state hospital, in Chattahoochee, had gone to Crestview in order to accompany a man back to the hospital who had been declared insane. The representative requested that Sheriff Summerlin accompany him to the man's home in order to retrieve him. An acquaintance of the man, who happened to be at the sheriff's office, also accompanied them.

When they arrived at the subject's home they retrieved him and a relative. All five men were returning to the Crestview train station in order to drop the hospital representative and subject on the next train. As they approached a railroad crossing the train struck their vehicle.

One of the occupants was able to jump from the car before it was struck, but Sheriff Summerlin and the other three occupants remained in the vehicle. Sheriff Summerlin was killed instantly and the other three serious injuries. All three died with a short time later.

Sheriff Summerlin had been elected sheriff during the previous election and had been sworn in only three weeks prior.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 3 weeks
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Struck by train

Most Recent Reflection

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The Sheriffs of Florida and their deputies will never forget the sacrifice you and your family made to uphold our laws and protect society.

Your name has been inscribed on the Florida Sheriffs and the National Law Enforcement Memorial and in our hearts. May you forever rest in peace.

A scripture inscribed on the Florida Sheriffs Law Enforcement Memorial:

"Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called the children
of God." Matthew 5:9

Executive Director Steve Casey
Florida Sheriffs Association

August 27, 2016

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