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Calvin Harrison, who worked 28 years for SPD, passes away

Seminole Police Officer Calvin “Cal” Harrison (SPD photo)

Calvin “Cal” Harrison, a recently retired police officer who spent nearly 30 years working for the Seminole Police Department, passed away April 17 at Cleveland Clinic in Weston. He was 76.

William R. Latchford, the Seminole Tribe’s director of Public Safety, said Officer Harrison’s “positive outlook on life was most admirable.” Latchford announced the passing to the Tribe in a tribalwide statement.

“On behalf of all of us here at Seminole Tribe of Florida Public Safety and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, I have taken the liberty of sending out, to Cal’s family, our most heartfelt condolences and sympathy,” Latchford said in the letter.

“He went above and beyond the call of duty,” said Chairman Marcellus W. Osceola Jr.  “The whole Tribe was praying for him.”

According to a press release from the Tribe, Harrison, who retired in February, had been hospitalized since March 27 for treatment of coronavirus symptoms and had tested positive for the virus.

He began his 28-year career in 1992 with SPD at the Brighton and Fort Pierce reservations and worked at other reservations, including Hollywood, Immokalee and Tampa. He was Corporal in Training when he first joined the department.

“Over the years, he felt blessed to train new officers who came to the department,” Latchford said.

In 1995, Officer Harrison was wounded in the line of duty. He was shot in the head by a rape suspect during an investigation. He underwent surgery and spent nine days in the hospital. He recuperated and returned to his job at SPD.

“He fought through those very difficult times to ensure he could get back to work as a police officer and train recruits until recently retiring on February 25, 2020,” Latchford said. “Regardless of the challenges he may have had along the way, everyone who’d ever had the privilege of working with him, always found Cal to be a special pleasure to work with.”

Seminole Police Officer Calvin “Cal” Harrison receives Officer of the Year and lifesaving awards in 2004. (file photo)

Officer Harrison and fellow Officer Doug Zamora were recognized in 2004 by the Seminole Department of Law Enforcement for helping save a life. They were presented Officer of the Year awards and lifesaving awards after they responded to a call at Hollywood Estates mobile homes, where they performed CPR and resuscitated a man who had stopped breathing and had no pulse.

“Such an extraordinary person Cal Harrison was,” Latchford said. “This is truly a great loss to our Seminole Tribe Public Safety family, to the law enforcement community, and to our community as a whole. He will be profoundly missed by everyone whose lives he touched. Nevertheless, by Cal’s own last wishes, let us remember Cal each time, with a smile upon our faces.”

Officer Harrison, who had been in law enforcement since 1978, was a resident of Pompano Beach.  He is survived by sons Calvin J. Harrison, of Sunrise, and James Harrison, of Boynton Beach, and a brother, David Harrison, of Ohio.

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Kevin Johnson
Kevin Johnson is senior editor. He has worked for The Seminole Tribune since 2014. He was previously an editor, photographer and reporter for newspapers in Southwest Florida and Connecticut. Contact Kevin at kevinjohnson@semtribe.com.
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