Corporal Paul John Sweeney

Corporal Paul John Sweeney

New Castle County Police Department, Delaware

End of Watch Thursday, November 30, 1972

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Paul John Sweeney

Corporal Paul Sweeney succumbed to injuries and burns received one month earlier when his patrol car was struck from behind and burst into flames.

Corporal Sweeney was driving on Concord Pike, near Independence Mall, when the accident occurred.

The 16-year-old driver of the vehicle that struck Corporal Sweeney's patrol car was charged with reckless driving but the charge was upgraded to manslaughter when the officer passed away.

Corporal Sweeney had served with the New Castle County Police Department for 4 years and was posthumously promoted to rank of of Corporal. He is survived by his wife and two children.

In 2006 the new New Castle County Police Department's new headquarters building was named in Corporal Sweeney's honor.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 4 years
  • Badge 41

Incident Details

  • Cause Automobile crash
  • Incident Date Friday, October 20, 1972

Most Recent Reflection

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"The Final Inspection"
The policeman stood and faced his God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining.
Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, policeman.
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My church have you been true?"
The policeman squared his shoulders and said, "No, Lord, I guess I ain't,
Because those of us who carry badges can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
and at times my talk was rough,
and sometimes I've been violent,
Because the streets are awfully tough.
But I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep....
Though I worked a lot of overtime
When the bills got just too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around
Except to calm their fear.
If you've a place for me here,
Lord, It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't.....I'll understand.
There was silence all around the throne
Where the saints had often trod.
As the policeman waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, policeman,
You've borne your burdens well.
Come walk a beat on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in hell."
Author Unknown

Sergeant Chad Miner
Powell Police department
Powell, Wyoming

July 23, 2019

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