CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – A former longtime police chief of the Clearwater Police Department was inducted Saturday into the Florida Law Enforcement Officers Hall of Fame in Tallahassee.
Chief Sidney R. Klein, who died in 2020, was among several honored. He was chief of police for 29 years and was in law enforcement for 47 years. He also served in the U.S. Navy for three years.
Officials say Klein began his law enforcement career in 1963 with the Miami-Dade Sheriff’s Department. He later moved to Colorado to join the new Lakewood Department of Public Safety before applying for Clearwater’s chief of police in 1981.
According to the Clearwater Police Department, Chief Klein “distinguished himself with innovative programs such as the Clearwater Homeless Intervention Project, Hispanic Outreach Program and countless community policing initiatives which won national recognition.” He also received the first federal grant to create a human trafficking task force.
Klein retired from CPD in 2010.
“Chief Klein instilled an organizational culture at CPD that embraces community engagement, problem solving and partnerships,” said Dan Slaughter, the current chief of the Clearwater Police Department. “The community still benefits today from his work, and will for many years to come.”
In addition to Klein, former Polk County sheriff and Lakeland police cadet Lawrence W. Crow Jr. was also inducted into the Hall of Fame.
The inductees were nominated by the Florida Sheriffs Association, Florida Police Chiefs Association, Police Benevolent Association, Fraternal Order of Police, and the State Law Enforcement Chiefs’ Association, and then were selected by a committee. The inductees were approved by Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida’s Cabinet.
The Florida Law Enforcement Officers’ Hall of Fame was created by the 2014 Florida Legislature to recognize and honor law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line for the safety and protection of Florida’s citizens and visitors through their works, service, and exemplary accomplishments.