Chuck Tripp #863, retired Seattle Police Beatman passed away on January 24, 2016. He was 91 years of age upon passing.
Chuck was born at the family home on the east side of Green Lake in 1925. His family lived there until 1940. He was always horse crazy. He would hang out all day at Woodland Park Zoo. He bothered the staff so much that he was finally hired at twelve years old. He learned to ride the ponies and shoe them. When he turned 15, the family bought property north of 85th Street which was the city limits so Chuck could have a horse. Chuck graduated from Roosevelt High in 1943. Then he joined the Navy to become a gunner’s mate on a destroyer in the Pacific Theater. He was demobilized in May of 1946. He returned to Washington and enrolled in Washington State College (now WSU) in the School of Husbandry.
After one semester, his dad Perry who was a Detective on the Seattle Police Department, convinced Chuck to drop out of school and join the PD. Chuck did in August 1947. Two years later he married Virginia. During the first half of his career Chuck worked in prowl cars in the Central Precinct working both east and west. One of his partners was John Dinse #1520 on Car 124 in the early 1950s. At the time, Chuck was a smoker who rolled his own. The problem was more tobacco fell on the car seat and floor than made it into the roll. So, the empty portion of the roll would flare, ruining both John’s and Chuck’s night vision.
In 1953 Chuck moved his family way out to Redmond so he could raise horses and start up a farrier trade (shoeing horses.) His dad Perry thought Chuck moved out to Timbuktu just to raise animals. Chuck’s business took off – soon he was raising not only horses and oxen, and shoeing them, but also shoeing his neighbor’s animals. His dad was proud and boasted about this to anyone on the Department who would listen, right up to his retirement date in 1956.
In 1960 Chuck was moved to the walking beats. He was teamed up with Jack Stanton #1565 to walk Pike Street for the next seven years. Jack was the initiator, Chuck the detail man. One shift they arrested a street walker who gave her body weight as 175 lbs., that was close enough for government work according to Jack, but not Chuck. He took her to the jail dispensary and weighed her for an accurate report of 325 lbs. When Jack moved down to the China Town car, Sergeant Bob Dodge #1193 asked Chuck “who would you like as a partner?” He replied, “A canine, which will be easier to work with than Jack.”
In 1972 Chuck retired for service after 25 years. When the Department started the Mounted Unit in 1973, Al Wilding #1574 hired Chuck to become its first farrier. Four years later he moved to Duvall to start a logging business. He logged, on slopes that were too steep for tracked vehicles, so used his team of draft horses or oxen. He said he had to be careful when using oxen because if they shook their heads, one could be gored. He became a member of the Draft Horse Association and the Equestrian Friends Therapy Association. In 2000 Chuck and his oxen team were putting on an exhibition at Marymoor Park. A spectator walked too close behind one of the oxen, as it felt the call of nature, and sprayed the spectator head to foot. She was drenched – the handi-wipes were too little, too late.
In 1994 he purchased a vacation ranch in Ellensburg so people could ride horses. He loved to camp, hunt and trail ride with his horses. He even took up saddle making. Chuck was a cowhand, born 100 years too late. He did all these activities right up to the end.
Virginia, Chuck’s wife of 66 years preceded him in death by two months. He is survived by his two daughters, Carol and Linda; three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.