Retired Seattle Police Officers Association

Last Ring

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

Elmer Johnston #2310 retired Seattle Police Traffic Officer passed away at home on November 16, 2014 at the age of 83, after a 25 year battle with cancer. 
Elmer was born and raised in Ballard. While attending Ballard High, he worked at the L&L Market and later at Scotty’s Fish and Chips in order to afford his car.  Right after graduation, he joined the Navy in June 1948. He served on board the famous WWII Aircraft Carrier USS Wasp for three years, from 1949-1952 sailing the Atlantic. He was discharged in June 1952 when his four year enlistment was up. He returned to Seattle.  He went to work at Boeing. After a couple of lay off strikes, Elmer decided to go to work at Northwest Marble Company.
Then in 1962, the Seattle Police Department was hiring for the World’s fair at the Seattle Civic Center. He signed up and was hired in late 1962. He was assigned to the Seattle Center for a few weeks then sent to Patrol in the Central Precinct on Third Watch. In those days, Second and Third Watch rotated every three months. The theory being you would learn both the night and day issues in your district. But it was not very conducive for the officer’s sleep patterns. Elmer decided he needed a fixed shift so he transferred to Traffic in September of 1966. He was immediately put on bikes. He joined the Motorcycle Drill Team. His partner on solos was Jerry Bickle #2487. Elmer got off bikes in 1986 and in enforcement. Older and wiser he preferred a warm car over windy and wet motor’s ride. He teamed up with Mike Petras #2903, they were also golf partners.
One day while working enforcement, on Holman Road in late 1990, Elmer stopped a speeder and wrote her. The violator did not have the nerve to tell Elmer she was late and speeding to work to beat her boss – the North Precinct captain, Larry Farrar #2360 to work. Well even with this delay, Kay McArthur #4516 still beat Larry to work. He or his two dogs (that he brought to the Precinct every day) slept in as usual. 
Elmer stayed in Enforcement until 2001, when he retired after 39 years of service.
Elmer is survived by his two sons, Matt and Don and his two daughters Betty Johnston and Kim Avilla, 10 grandchildren and two great grand children.