Calvin Harrison, 76, retired officer, Seminole Police Department, dies from COVID-19 complications

WESTON – Calvin “Cal” Harrison, 76, a recently retired Seminole Police Officer who in 1995 survived a bullet wound to the head, died late Friday night at Cleveland Clinic Hospital in Weston, Fla.  He had been hospitalized since March 27 for treatment of coronavirus symptoms and had tested positive for the virus.

Harrison began his police work in 1978.  Seventeen years later, on April 26, 1995, Officer Harrison was searching a Hollywood home for a rape suspect, when the suspect surprised him and shot him in the head.  A June, 1995 Sun-Sentinel article quoted Officer Harrison about the shooting.

“The last thing I remember is the shot and going to the ground,” said Officer Harrison.  “I should be in a grave right now.  There has to be a God.  If it wasn’t for him, I’d be a dead man.”

Arthur Anthony Florida was later convicted of rape and shooting Officer Harrison in the left temple with a .38-caliber bullet at point blank range.  The wounded officer was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital, where surgeons were able to stabilize him.  Officer Harrison was released from the hospital nine days later.

After a long period of recuperation, Officer Harrison returned to the Seminole Police Department and continued his service until his retirement on Feb. 25 of this year.  He began his career with the Seminole Police Department at the Brighton and Fort Pierce Seminole Reservations, but he ultimately served at several Seminole reservations around the state, including Hollywood, Tampa and Immokalee.

“Cal spent over 28 years with the Seminole Tribe and was well-known in the Seminole community and in law enforcement circles,” said William Latchford, Executive Director for Public Safety of the Seminole Tribe of Florida.  “He was always a survivor, but sadly, he couldn’t survive the coronavirus.”

Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. echoed comments made by tribal members about Officer Harrison shortly after the shooting.  “He went above and beyond the call of duty,” said Osceola.  “The whole Tribe was praying for him.”

Officer Harrison was a resident of Pompano Beach.  He is survived by sons Calvin J. Harrison of Sunrise and James Harrison of Boynton Beach, and one brother, David Harrison, of Ohio.

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