GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) – Greensburg police are preparing to say goodbye to one of their own after detective John Swank passed away this weekend.
If you hurt a kid, took advantage of a senior citizen or committed an act of domestic violence against a woman, the face of Greensburg detective Sgt. John Swank was one you didn’t want to see questioning you.
“He was relentless. He was on a case, he would take it personally,” said Greensburg Captain Shawn Denning.
Over the weekend, Swank passed away as a result of complications from amyloidosis. He was 51 years old.
“The man was extremely intelligent,” said Denning.
In fact, John Swank’s proper professional title was Dr. John Swank. The father and husband earned a doctoral degree from Nova Southeastern University. Beyond his stellar credentials and dedication to duty, he played guitar and did impressions.
“Just a great man and a great personality,” said Denning.
It was well established that John Swank always had victims in mind when he took on a case. He was also involved in one particular case where the victims were certainly unique.
In February of 2019, detective Swank spotted a serial robbery suspect. The guy threw a bag into a busy parking lot and took off. Swank and a police K-9 helped capture the suspect. But something about that bag made Swank quickly go back and recover it.
Inside were five small kittens still alive.
Regardless of the species, if the most vulnerable was in peril, Swank was going to try to help. A credit to his badge, his family, his town, his profession, he’s being mourned as a quiet, smart and good man.
“You can never replace a man like John Swank. He’s one of a kind, he’ll never be forgotten around here,” said Denning.
An obituary and funeral details for Swank can be found online.