Policeman Joseph T. Swierczynski

Policeman Joseph T. Swierczynski

Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Thursday, March 20, 1919

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Joseph T. Swierczynski

Policeman 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.

Policeman 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.

Policeman Swierczynski had served with the Philadelphia Police Department for 2 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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Officer Swierczynski,
On today, the 100th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Philadelphia.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol
El Paso Station

March 20, 2019

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