Chief of Detectives James Garfield Britton

Chief of Detectives James Garfield Britton

Sioux City Police Department, Iowa

End of Watch Tuesday, July 22, 1919

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James Garfield Britton

Detective James Britton was shot and killed when he and three other officers went at 3:30 p.m. to arrest a group of outlaws. When the officers entered the address at W. Third and Ross Street, the suspects opened fire -- fatally wounding Detective Britton. Detective Britton was able to return fire and kill one of the suspects and wound a second. The third suspect was also shot and wounded by another officer.

One suspect, sentenced to life, escaped from Fort Madison Penitentiary in 1921. In 1929 he was recaptured in Vancouver, British Columbia, and returned to Iowa. He was paroled on Oct. 18, 1943.

Detective Britton was buried at Graceland Park Cemetery in Sioux City, Iowa.


  • Age 39
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Shot and killed

arrest attempt

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice is one that will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

July 22, 2020

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