While on duty, during the nighttime hours of Oct. 20, 1972, Cpl Paul J. Sweeney was seriously injured in a motor vehicle accident. On this date, November 30, 1972, Cpl. Sweeney succumbed to his injuries.
Cpl Paul J. Sweeney III was 26 years old and lived with his wife, Gail, and their two children – Gail, 4, and Paul John II, 3 – in the Roselle area near Elsmere.
A Salesianum School graduate, he was sworn as a county officer on July 7, 1968, serving as patrolman and detective. He was studying at what was then Delaware Technical & Community College for a police science degree.
Sweeney – promoted posthumously to corporal – was the first officer killed on duty since the force formed in 1911.