Retired Seattle Police Officers Association

Last Ring

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

 Dennis McCoy #3260, retired Seattle Police Sergeant passed away at home on November 15, 2017. He was 68 years of age upon passing.

Denny was born and raised in Yakima until he was 14 years old. Then his family moved to Seattle. He attended Shorecrest High and later Shoreline Community College. While at Shoreline, he applied to the Seattle Police Department’s Cadet Program. He was hired on October 7, 1969 at the age of 19. He was not very big at the time, so he was placed in various high schools to ferret drug dealers. This was not that uncommon back then.

He was commissioned in the summer of 1970. After the Academy, he was assigned to the Central Precinct. His first FTOs were Mike Brasfield #3020, Jim Sleeth #3132.

Jim and Student Officer McCoy arrested a female auto theft suspect one night. She was a fighter, a biter, and a kicker. As they got her hogtied and placed in the back seat, Jim slid in next to her, defense attorney Irving Paul opened the other back passenger door. He began berating the officers and trying to gin up a customer. He was warned about interfering and obstruction, but continued. Jim exited the cruiser and shut his door, at the same time Irving backed out on his side and shut his door. So, Dennis, who was behind the wheel, thought Jim was in the car and took off with the prisoner, leaving Jim behind. He went over to Irving and cuffed him up. By this time, Denny realized the mistake and drove back to the scene. Jim said to Irving, “If you think so much of this wild, struggling prisoner, you can ride next to her to jail”. Irving Paul spent the night in jail. The next morning, Judge Charles Johnson convicted him on obstruction and suspended his bar privileges for six months. After the six months, Irving became one of the nicest defense attorneys when dealing with the police. Irving passed away in 1991.

Later, in 1972, while working a shift with Jim, Denny responded to the Bush Hotel shootout – a barricaded man versus almost the entire West Central night shift. The suspect was shooting westbound out the window of the top occupancy floor, down Jackson Street (see Dick Rovig’s Back in the Day article.) In the end of the gunfight, the Bush Hotel sustained more bullet holes than the suspect. This motivated both of them to become interested in the new LAPD Tactical Response – SWAT, implemented by Darrel Gates. It was even a weekly TV program. They joined our Department’s first ad hoc attempts to initiate a SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics) program in 1976.

Denny’s first regular partner was Ed Joiner #3214. They worked Relief, both East and West Central for three years. One evening, they stopped a DWI – a huge guy who was a polite, gentle giant. During the interview, he said, “Next week is my scheduled debut boxing match at the Seattle Center. I’m an up-and-comer”. After the processing, they all departed on friendly terms. He even invited them to his match. They were working Queen Anne that night, so they popped in to see the match. The up-and-comer survived the first round, but got his come-uppance, as he was knocked out in the second round. End of his boxing career. He was just there to polish up the other boxers’ records.

Then they moved North to work 3Boy3 for Bill Green #2236 for a year. Denny’s early years were committed to raising his large and growing family, so he worked off duty frequently to the point of being a workaholic – no hobbies. He ran the Washington National Bank job at 325 Broadway East, plus any other moonlighting jobs he could find.

In the very late 1970’s he bought a motorcycle and joined the “Blue Knights”. He became an avid rider, touring through Canada and the Southwest, no matter what the weather was like – a true “rain run” rider. Later, he purchased a Harley and became immersed in the Harley culture. Now he had another dependent, his hog, to support. He even convinced fellow Harley riders to form a subset of the Blue Knights – the Iron Pigs, which required members to ride an American made V Twin.

Denny stayed North until Mayor Norm Rice was elected, then he worked the Mayor’s Detail until he was promoted to sergeant. By this time, his FTO, Mike Brasfield was an Assistant Chief and his first regular partner, Ed Joiner made Assistant Chief. Denny always claimed his inspiration and instruction helped get them promoted. They vociferously claimed they made it in spite of him.

After four years as a Patrol sergeant, he went to Traffic for five years, first in the DWI Squad, then on Bikes. Then in late 2002, he was assigned to Communications for a couple of years. In 2004 he requested to return to Patrol and was assigned to 1st Watch North Precinct. He stayed there until he retired in December 2011, with just over 42 years of service.

During retirement, Denny continued to be a gym rat. He was always a proponent of physical workouts. One the side, while living in Oregon, he began to buy auctioned off storage units to sell the inventories. There is even a reality show about these auctions. He did these two activities until his health started failing in 2017.

Denny is survived by his wife wife, Jennifer; sons Michael, Robert, Matthew, Daniel, and Rudy; daughters Glenna and Katherine; and seven grandchildren; plus, countless others he took under his wing.

Dan Oliver
Executive Secretary
Seattle Pension Office