Retired Seattle Police Officers Association

Last Ring

Take a moment to remember our friends and associates who have passed.

Bert Richards #1693, Retired Seattle Police Detective passed away on May 21, 2021 at the age of 93.

Bert was raised in Edmonds, Washington. Immediately after graduation from Edmonds High he joined the US Navy. His first year in the Navy included the closing months of World War II. He was discharged in early 1948.

He returned to his parents’ house in Edmonds and within a few months the family moved to Renton,  in the Kennedale Neighborhood. There, Bert landed a job at the Bar-B Lumbermill, which no longer exists. He worked there seven years and became bored with the routine, so he applied to the SPD.

He was hired on the department on March 13, 1956. His first assignment before going to the Academy was walking a beat in Georgetown. This lasted less than a year. After the Academy he was assigned to second watch West Central first working Car 114 with Robert M. Davis #1758 on lower Queen Anne and Belltown. One evening they stopped Municipal Court Judge Simmons for suspicious driving. This is the judge that later had to leave the bench. As the old furniture store window on Sixth Avenue declared “try our Simmons mattress then you be the judge.”

Bert’s next assignment was working the special squad (now SWAT) with Don Vert #2168 in the early 1960s.

After a couple of years, Bert returned to West Central Patrol to work Car 123 with Tom Caldwell #1845. All his partner comment’s  - what a great guy to work alongside.

On January 1, 1970, Bert transferred to the detectives to work South Burglary. After several months, he was invited to go to Vice. He was part of the Bingo Parlor Investigations. After the stent in Vice he returned to Burglary. When the new South Precinct was being built,  a few detectives were designated as Decentralized B/T and located temporarily in the old Georgetown Precinct. They moved to the new precinct several months later. Bert was a very effective in the south end due to his living in Burien, working South Burglary for his time spent in the Special Patrol Squad. He had a good rapport with the patrol officers and was adept at developing informants. He retired on March 17, 1984, after 28 years of service.

Back when Burt was a Police man the job did not pay as well as today. So, he was forced to moonlight in order to provide for his family. He worked in uniform as bank security, then as a yard man at Campbell Lumber in Burien for 10 years.

After retiring he got a job at Long Acres Race Track which he worked for seven years. This allowing his wife Mirna and him to keep up their hobbies of bowling and square dancing. They were active in both activities. Bert bowled in league play and travelled up and down the West Coast, Mirna went with him to each game.

When RAP started at the old Elks Lodge in Lake City, Bert was its first Secretary/Treasurer. He began each financial report with “money in the bank. “

Mirna proceeded Bert in death, dying in 2012. He is survived by his son Dale, daughter Catherine Doeleman, two grandchildren and eight great grandchildren and two great great grandchildre