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John Frederick Duffy
Birth: Jun. 10, 1930
Galveston County
Texas, USA
Death: Mar. 21, 1993, El Salvador

John Frederick Duffy

June 10, 1930 March 21, 1993
Born in Galveston, Texas on June 10, 1930, John Duffy came to San Diego when he was 16 and later graduated from Grossmont High School in 1948. He served as a sergeant in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. On May 25, 1953, John Duffy became a deputy sheriff after posting the highest score on the entrance exam. He quickly ascended through the ranks to captain. In 1970 he was elected as the 26th Sheriff of San Diego County and took office on January 4,1971. He was reelected four times and retired on January 4, 1991.

During his 20-year tenure as Sheriff, John Duffy modernized the department and gained national and international recognition as a law enforcement leader. As the department grew from 500 to over 2200 members with a most recent budget of over $110 million, John Duffy continued the pursuit of excellence within his organization which exemplified "Law Enforcement at Its Best." The department became the first Sheriffs Department in California to become accredited under the leadership of John Duffy.

Sheriff Duffy organized a citizen support group known as the Honorary Deputy Sheriffs' Association (HDSA) which donated over $1 million towards law enforcement safety, education and training. Their most significant accomplishment was the city block, state-of-the-art training facility at Camp Elliott known as "Duffy's Town." In 1984 through the HDSA the John F. Duffy Foundation was established to provide funds for all police and sheriffs' departments in the county. During his tenure there were 26 Masters Scholarships, 21 Senior Management Institute Scholarships, and numerous other grants awarded.

Locally, Sheriff Duffy was a member of the San Diego Police Chiefs' and Sheriff's Association. He was active in numerous professional and civic organizations, including MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), Tough on Drugs, Inc., the San Diego Kiwanis Club, Boy Scout Council, Boys' Clubs, Institute for Burn Medicine, Leukemia Society, March of Dimes, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Nice Guys, University Club, Rest and Aspiration Club, and the Mexican and American Foundation.

On a statewide level he served as president of both the California State Sheriffs' Association and California Peace Officers' Association. He was former Governor Reagan's appointment to the California Council on Criminal Justice as the Sheriff representative, and he served on former Governor Deukmejian's Executive Committee for the California Stop Crime Coalition and Peace Officer Memorial Commission. He served with the California Attorney General as one of two Policy Board members from the state of California for the Western States Information Network, which focused on drug interdiction.

Nationally, Sheriff Duffy served as the Chairman of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and President of the Police Executive Research Forum based in Washington, D.C. He was a board member of the National Sheriffs' Association, chaired their Law and Legislative Committee and was a faculty member of the National Sheriff's Institute in Quantico, Virginia where he provided instruction to over 2,000 first time sheriffs throughout the nation. He was a member of the Advisory Board for the National Institute of Justice and served President Reagan as a member of the Justice-Treasury Advisory Committee on State and Local Law Enforcement Training. He also served on the Advisory Board of the Northwestern University Traffic Institute, National Law Enforcement Exploring Committee, and Police Foundation Child Abuse Committee.

Sheriff Duffy was the recipient of many awards for professional service to the community. He was especially proud of the Law Enforcement Commendation Medal awarded to him in 1976 by the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution. He was also proud of the Golden Man and Boy Award from the entire County `s Boys' Clubs. In 1980 he was selected Irishman of the Year by the San Diego Chapter of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick, In 1982 he was the co-honoree of the San Diego-Imperial Counties' Central Labor Council's Histadrut Dinner. In 1986 he was honored as "Nice Guy of the Year" by the Nice Guys, Inc. and in October of 1990 John F. Duffy was presented with the Arthur Bloom Humanitarian Award by the San Diego Crime Commission.

Following his retirement from office in January 1991, he continued his leadership role in law enforcement. Incorporating as John F. Duffy and Associates, he consulted for national and international concerns on police management and administration. He established the Star and Shield Recreation Club to provide high quality and affordable family-oriented recreation to active and retired federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel.

In September of 1992 former Sheriff Duffy accepted an invitation from the U.S. Justice Department to serve as a consultant and principal advisor to El Salvador in building a police force under the accords that ended El Salvador's 12-year-old civil war.

Sheriff Duffy is survived by his four children. His youngest son, James, is a lieutenant with the Sheriff's Department. He was the grandfather of ten and great-grandfather of two more, all living in San Diego County.

My favorite quote from the Sheriff: "You can be a leader or you can play it safe, but you can't do both." It seems like there are more politicians who want to play it safe, rather than lead in this era of political correctness.

"The story of the Sheriff's Museum in Old Town is full of all kinds of miracles," according to Mary Walsh. "It belongs to every man and woman who has ever been (or will be) affiliated with the Sheriff's Department either as a sworn member of the organization or as a volunteer ... It is a safe and fun place to learn about law enforcement and it is a great educational tool to teach children not to be afraid of cops, while at the same time, provide them with crime prevention tips and invaluable information to keep them safe."

A few highlights of the museum include a behind-the-scenes look at crime fighting and an 1850's cobblestone Sheriff's Office complete with an original jail cell that can be compared to the modern day in the next room. Visitors can listen to live radio calls, see a real Sheriff's motorcycle, a helicopter and bomb detection robot, and a patrol car from the Duffy era. A weapons gallery features an exciting display of over 200 confiscated weapons. Other galleries include California history, courtroom, drugs and gangs, and a special gallery that honors the special deputies who were killed in the line of duty. Visitors can purchase souvenirs and gifts from the museum's gift shop. The courtyard can be used for special events and has been used to host several law enforcement conferences.

The museum's slogan and mission are summed up beautifully in a quote from then-Sheriff John Duffy, who brought the department into the modern era, "Pride in our past promises hope for our future".
Cremated, Location of ashes is unknown.
Plot: Ashes given to family
Created by: Mickey
Record added: Feb 20, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13401818
John Frederick Duffy
Added by: Mickey
John Frederick Duffy
Added by: Mickey
John Frederick Duffy
Added by: Mickey
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Thank you for your service.
 Added: Nov. 11, 2014

 Added: Jun. 7, 2014

 Added: Mar. 18, 2014
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