In Memoriam

Lt. Joseph Szczerba


Lieutenant Joe Szczerba was fatally stabbed while struggling with a suspect shortly after midnight.

Lieutenant Szczerba had responded to backup other officers who were searching for a disorderly man near Penn Acres Park. He located the man at East Roosevelt Avenue and Fithian Drive and, after a short foot chase, began to struggle with him. During the struggle the subject pulled out a knife and stabbed Lieutenant Szczerba in the neck.

Other officers were able to take the subject into custody. Lieutenant Szczerba was transported to Christiana Hospital where he succumbed to the wound.

On September 30th, 2013, the subject pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree murder and 13 additional counts. On January 17th, 2014, the subject was sentenced to life terms in prison without parole.

Lieutenant Szczerba had served with the New Castle County Police Department for 18 years. He is survived by his wife and family.

Lieutenant Szczerba was posthumously promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and awarded the department's Medal of Honor.

Cpl. Paul J. Sweeney


Corporal Paul Sweeney succumbed to injuries and burns received one month earlier when his patrol car was struck from behind and burst into flames.

Corporal Sweeney was driving on Concord Pike, near Independence Mall, when the accident occurred.

The 16-year-old driver of the vehicle that struck Corporal Sweeney's patrol car was charged with reckless driving but the charge was upgraded to manslaughter when the officer passed away.

Corporal Sweeney had served with the New Castle County Police Department for 4 years and was posthumously promoted to rank of of Corporal. He is survived by his wife and two children.

In 2006 the new New Castle County Police Department's new headquarters building was named in Corporal Sweeney's honor.