Police Officer Joseph T. Swierczynski

Police Officer Joseph T. Swierczynski

Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Thursday, March 20, 1919

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Joseph T. Swierczynski

Police Officer Joseph Swierczynski was shot and killed while chasing two suspects after hearing shots near 9th Street and Fitzwater Street. He chased the two men to a saloon at 9th and Christian Streets until one of the men suddenly turned and opened fire, killing him.

Officer Swierczynski's body remained on the street for almost 30 minutes until an anonymous woman called the station house to report the incident. Three men were arrested inside the saloon a short time later. One of the suspects was found guilty of first degree murder but acquitted on appeal after purportedly bribing the judge. The suspect was murdered in New York City six months later.

Officer Swierczynski had served with the Philadelphia Police Department for two years. He was survived by his wife and two young sons and is buried at Holy cross Cemetery in Yeadon, Pennsylvania.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 265

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Acquitted on appeal

foot pursuit, shots fired call

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service and please know that no passage of time can ever erase your service and sacrifice. Rest in peace always.

To your great grandson Mike, God Bless your entire family and know that your great grandfathers law enforcement family will never forget.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven RizzoDelaware State Police (Retired)

March 20, 2021

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