By Angela Norris
Southport Police Department Sergeant Jason Swanson was found dead outside his car on Monday, March 4 at 3:29 a.m. near the intersection of 21st and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. streets, near the entrance of Home Ice Company.
The police officers on the scene stated the cause of death looked to be natural causes, but they’re waiting for the coroner’s report for confirmation. Swanson was not on duty at the time and foul play is not suspected, but the small police department is in mourning for the loss of their brother in blue.
On Feb. 25, one week before his death, Swanson was cleared in a federal lawsuit filed by a member of the Southport City Council, Shara Hostetler, who alleged that a search of her home just before the 2015 primary election was illegal. The suit named the city of Southport, Police Chief Tom Vaughn and Detective Sergeant Jason Swanson.
Vaughn and Swanson moved for dismissal from the lawsuit, claiming immunity while acting under authority of their office that the chief was not involved in orchestrating the search, and Tonya Walton Pratt, a Marion Superior Court magistrate judge, had signed off on the search warrant of Hostetler’s home. Pratt found in favor of Vaughn’s and Swanson’s arguments that the case be dismissed, as, “there was clearly no established right which Swanson would have understood he was violating and no Fourth Amendment violation as there was no reckless disregard for the truth or false statements in the affidavit for the search of Shara’s home.”
After Detective Swanson’s death, the Southport Police department released a statement: “As you can imagine, we are devastated to learn of the passing of Southport Detective Sergeant Jason Swanson. At this time, we ask that you keep his family in your thoughts and prayers. The loss of a brother is never easy. Details will be released as they become available.”
Detective Swanson is survived by two sons and his wife, Charlotte Swanson, who is also a Southport Police officer. Detective Swanson had prepared and served countless search warrants, made hundreds of arrests, investigated over 500 cases, and currently had a case clearance rate of over 72 percent.
This was Detective Swanson’s 21st year in law enforcement. Swanson had been a detective with the Southport Police Department since January 2015. Before his tenure in Southport, he was an EMT with the Indianapolis Fire Department from October 2005 to October 2013.
Funeral arrangements for Detective Sergeant Jason Swanson:
Visitation: Tuesday, March 12, 4-8 p.m., at Simplicity Funeral & Cremation Care, located at 7520 Madison Ave.
Funeral: Wednesday, March 13, 10 a.m., at The Life Center at Southport, located at 4002 E. Southport Road.