Chief of Police William E. Swartz

Chief of Police William E. Swartz

Lehighton Borough Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Thursday, May 3, 1917

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William E. Swartz

Chief of Police William Swartz succumbed to a gunshot wound sustained four days earlier while attempting to question a drunk man.

The man was known to Chief Swartz to have just purchased a revolver and to always being drunk on payday. The chief was keeping an eye on the man who approached him near the intersection of Bank Street and North Street. The man made several statements to Chief Swartz before pulling out his revolver and shooting him.

The man fled the scene on a freight train but was later apprehended. He was convicted of Chief Swartz's murder and eventually died in prison.

Chief Swartz had served with the Lehighton Borough Police Department for four years. He was survived by his wife and eight children.


  • Age 47
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Monday, April 30, 1917
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Died in prison

ambush, DIP

Most Recent Reflection

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Cousin, I may not have known you. But through my research I am blessed to say we share DNA. You're service is so appreciated and it saddens my heart you died the way you did. I will honor your memory and visit often. Until we meet in heaven.

Ivana Erney; ASS Criminal Justice

May 11, 2024

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