Detective Charles Dewane Swanson

Detective Charles Dewane Swanson

Eureka Police Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, November 21, 1996

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Charles Dewane Swanson

Detective Charles Swanson suffered a fatal heart attack following a struggle with a suspect.

He and his partner were preparing to search a location for a felony case when the suspects showed up at the location and then sped away. The two officers pursued the suspects until the their vehicle crashed and they fled on foot.

Detective Swanson caught up with one of the suspects and arrested him after a violent struggle. He collapsed after placing the suspect in the back of his patrol car. His partner immediately administered CPR and called for assistance. Detective Swanson was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Detective Swanson had been recognized as the Officer of the Year award twice during his 22-year career. He is survived by his wife and son.


  • Age 47
  • Tour 22 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Heart attack
  • Weapon Person
  • Offender Not available

foot pursuit, search warrant, vehicle pursuit

Most Recent Reflection

View all 13 Reflections

It’s been many years since Charlie’s death and I still think about him. We shared so much; growing up together as kids in the same neighborhood and playing in the nearby forest, both becoming peace officers at EPD and later working with Charlie on many major felony cases when he was EPD’s lead detective and I was with the DA’s office as their Chief Investigator. I got at least one call a day from Charlie in those days and they always began the same way i.e. “hey Barry, Charlie here”. Charlie was a phenomenal detective, a man of unwavering character and courage. He was truly my “brother in arms”. He is still missed after all these years. And I can still hear his infectious and distinctive laugh.

Barry Brown, DA Chief Investigator (ret)
Humboldt County DA’s Office

August 23, 2018

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