Let us pause to remember our fallen hero, Police Officer Albert M. Claggett, IV, lost this day in 1978.
Police Officer Claggett was born on March 1, 1952, in Prince George's County. He was raised in New Carrollton and graduated from Parkdale High School. He joined the Prince George's County Police Department as a cadet on June 19, 1972. He started the police academy shortly thereafter, following in the footsteps of his father, retired Prince George's County Police Lieutenant Albert M. Claggett, III. After graduating on December 3, 1972, Police Officer Claggett was assigned to the Seat Pleasant station. He was transferred to the Hyattsville station in July of 1975.
On June 26, 1978, at about 1:30 am, Police Officer Claggett and Police Officer James B. Swart stopped a car on Annapolis Road in Bladensburg. The car matched the suspect description in the theft of laundry room coin boxes from a nearby apartment complex. The two occupants were arrested and taken to the Hyattsville station.
While processing the suspects, one of the men suddenly ripped Officer Claggett’s weapon from his holster and opened fire. Officer Claggett was seriously wounded and was rushed to the hospital. Sadly, he died of his injuries a short time later. Police Officer Swart was also shot as he tried to assist Officer Claggett. Tragically, Police Officer Swart also succumbed to his injuries.
Police Officer Claggett served the Prince George's County Police Department for six years and was the 10th member of this agency to make the ultimate sacrifice. He was the 18th law enforcement officer to give his life in service to this profession within Prince George's County.
At the time of his death, Police Officer Claggett was 26 years old and survived by his wife and two sons.