Retired Seattle Police Officers Association

Last Ring

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

James “JD” Nicholson #2622, Retired Seattle Police Detective, passed away on Friday, May 21st, 2021 at 78 years of age.  JD was hired on October 10, 1966 and retired on January 19, 1993. Retired Detective Jay Nicholson #2770 is JD’s brother.
JD was born and raised in Lake City until he was eight years old. Then the family moved to Spokane. He participated in sports at an early age. He was an all league football running and offense back at the Central Valley High. He played third base varsity baseball all three years of high school. After graduation in 1961, he enrolled at Boise Junior College. There he played defensive back for two years, the 1961 and 1962 seasons.
He left college to enlist in the Air Force for four years to see the world. His first duty station after basic and advanced training, was Moses Lake for over a year. Some foreign posting huh, just miles from home! His next assignment was Vietnam, his last duty station was in California. He got an early discharge  to join the Seattle Police Department.  
JD was hired on October 10th, 1966. After almost three years in Patrol, he transferred to the Special Patrol Squad. One night while involved in a pursuit of a fleeing felon, the suspect did a U turn and ran head on into JD's compact Dodge Dart. The dart was totaled, and JD was taken to Virginia Mason. Both his legs sustained injuries.
His next assignment was Research and Development. He and another up and coming young officer, Sonny Davis #3057 developed the department M.I.R. Code system. Over the next four years they worked on many innovations, a time of change for the department.
Then a job installing VARDA alarms for Sergeant Charles Scheuffele #1864, came up so JD moved to the Pawn Shop Property Recovery Squad. He stayed there several years until he fell off a ladder while installing a hidden robbery camera in 1979. A year later he passed the detective’s test.  
Due to his excellent work installing the VARDA systems, he was offered a position in Robbery. He worked for Joe Sanford #1896. Joe teamed JD with Larry Stewart #2420. After five years, JD began looking for a new assignment.
In early 1986, he transferred to Vice. His partner was Gene Birkeland #2539. On a night raid in 1988, in an upper-level apartment, one of the suspects attempted to run. JD thought he was still a defensive back going against a tight end and tackled the 6’ 9” guy. But unfortunately, both of them tumbled down a flight of stairs ending up in a hard landing. JD injured his knee again.
In 1989, he was approached to go to Narcotics. He worked with Mike Ciesynski #4749. Again, on a stakeout he reinjured his knee. But he recovered and remained in the unit until he retired after 26 years and four months of service in 1993.
He moved to Gilbert, Arizona where he golfed almost every morning getting his handicap down to an eight. JD became an avid reader. He had over 3,000 hardcover books in his library causing him to remodel rooms and build bookshelves to store all of the reading material.
His parents and his sister Sue preceded him in death. He is survived by his older sister Penny and three brothers Jay #2770, Kim and Van.