Retired Seattle Police Officers Association

Last Ring

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

Dave Grayson #1814, retired Seattle Police Assistant Chief passed away on May 15, 2014 at the age of 83.

 Dave was born in Shaunovon, Saskatchewan Province. His parents were US citizens but working temporarily in Canada during the Great Depression. When this job ran out, the family moved to Glasgow, Montana to live in an old two-room log cabin while working on the New Deal Project of building the Fort Peck Dam. When the dam was built, the family moved to Tacoma because Dave’s dad got a job instructing the GIs to work with heavy equipment. Then the Army sent his dad to Alaska to train the soldiers there. So Dave had to return to Glasgow, Montana to live with his grandmother for the next several years. After graduating from Glasgow High, he got a variety of part time jobs. One was delivering Wonder Bread to the area stores. His sales were lackluster. So he came up with a scheme to buy back old stale loaves in exchange for a better spot in the display counter. Sales soared to the point that his accounts were taken over by the district representatives for themselves. Dave got a real lesson in business administration. So he said to heck with it and joined the Army for three years.
Upon discharge, he went to work at Hanford Nuclear Reservation to earn money for college. In 1953 he started at the University of Washington. Four years later, with his sheepskin in accounting, and a minor in geology, he applied to Texaco Oil in Anacortes. He aced the test which was two parts - finance and geology. The Texaco staff did not trust Dave’s performance so he had to retest with the proctor present – again a record score. While the company was deciding what to do with him, Dave saw this as another real life lesson in business management. He dropped Texaco Oil and got a job with the Seattle Police Department, which had both Civil Service and Union protection.
Dave worked Traffic for six months before attending the 3-month Academy. Then he was assigned to the Central Precinct, working both East and West. His partner for years was Robbie Robinson #1202. They received many commendations for their patrol work. In 1964, he transferred to the Detectives, first Burglary/Theft, then Homicide/Robbery. In 1968, he went to Training as an instructor. While there, he was promoted to Sergeant. Three years later he made Lieutenant and went back to Investigations for seven years, then one year assigned to Communications. During these years, he earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and taught at Seattle Community College. In 1979 he was promoted to Captain. Nine months later he was promoted to Major, in charge of Inspectional Services. After another year, he was promoted to Assistant Chief on Aprils Fools 1981, commanding the Administrative Services Bureau. When President Ronald Reagan came to Seattle, he and Dave had a picture taken together. A few months later, the Seattle Mayor came over to Dave’s office for a briefing. When the Mayor saw the photo, he went over and turned the picture face down, then asked Dave to continue the briefing. Dave stayed in Administrative Services until he retired on May 15, 1990 after 32 years and 8 months of service.
The very next day, Dave stepped across the street to the Artic Building to be the Executive Secretary of the Police Pension Board. His previous experience as a Board Trustee prepared him to modernize the operation. After three years, he resigned his position to be an elected Trustee again. He served on the Board for another 18 years. He was also a Director of the Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union for almost 20 years. Also, he was a Snohomish Police and Fire Civil Service Commissioner until 2013.
Dave is survived by his wife of 53 years, Charlene; his two sons, Steve and Dave; and two grandchildren, David and Joscelyne; and his brother, Joe. Dave’s sister Phyllis preceded him in death by eight days.