John Clifton was appointed the part-time Town Marshal for the City of Dania, Florida (now Dania Beach and part of BSO's jurisdiction) when it was determined the only other law enforcement agency, the Dade County Sheriff, was too far away to respond to complaints and incidents. Marshal Clifton continued as a local farmer during his career as marshal which, according to newspaper accounts at the time, consisted of "rounding up drunks and putting them in jail," a one-room building with a dirt floor.
On March 7, 1914, Marshal Clifton was shot and killed during a domestic violence call. Clifton's suspected assailant, Bill Walker, managed to escape the scene following the shooting. He was never apprehended, and no one was ever prosecuted for the murder.
Marshal Clifton was laid to rest in Dania Beach's historic Woodlawn Cemetery.