Patrol Officer William T. Swafford

Patrol Officer William T. Swafford

Petersburg Bureau of Police, Virginia

End of Watch Monday, February 18, 1952

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William T. Swafford

Patrol Officer William Swafford was shot and killed with his own weapon after observing a burglary in progress on North Sycamore Street at about 1:30 am.

He attempted to block the vehicle in but had his patrol car rammed by the suspect. He then jumped on the running board and grabbed the steering wheel, causing the vehicle to crash through a store window at 128 N Sycamore Street. He was shot and killed during the ensuing struggle.

The 28-year-old suspect was apprehended by FBI agents in New York City three weeks later. He was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 18 years in prison. He received an additional eight years for burglary.

Officer Swafford had served with the Petersburg Police Department for three years. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age Not available
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 26 years


Most Recent Reflection

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Rest in peace Patrol Officer Swafford.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

February 18, 2020

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