Retired Seattle Police Officers Association

Last Ring

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

Michael R. Germann #2714, Retired Seattle Police Captain, passed away peacefully on Saturday, November 6, 2021, at 79 years of age.

Mike was hired on June 20, 1967, and retired on December 12, 1992, after 25 years of service. Mike’s last SPD assignment was as the Commander and the Metropolitan Section where he oversaw the Canine, Mounted, Harbor and ERT/HNT (SWAT) units. When Mike retired from SPD, he was immediately appointed as the Executive Secretary to the Seattle Police Pension Office by Council President George Benson to replace retiring Executive Secretary Dave Grayson #1814. During Mike’s 18 years in the Pension Office, without any fanfare or recognition, Mike made many positive impacts for our members as well as making some far-reaching changes that not only benefited one, but for all of our pensioners. Mike officially retired entirely in January 2010.

Mike was born in Seattle. His family moved to Kirkland. There he attended Lake Washington High graduating in 1960.  He worked for a year and six months at various jobs. Then in early 1962, he enlisted in the Marines for four years. He served in Vietnam. When his tour was up, he returned to Seattle. About this time the home front was heating up with student unrest and the summer riots. Mike felt obligated to help the citizens of Seattle, so he applied to the Seattle Police Department.

Mike was hired on June 20, 1967, working patrol for three months before attending Academy Class 53. He worked prowl cars in East Central with several of his future academy mates before they all were trained. They were: Larry Farrar #2360, Erling Buttedahl #2704 and Joe Nicholas #2683 (they continued to work together after the academy). During class breaks Joe introduced Mike to a civilian employee – Maryann who worked in Crime Analysis. They got married right after his academy graduation. He spent two years in patrol then transferred to Juvenile for a few days before being loaned to Robbery for six months. In mid-1970, he landed his permanent assignment Vice. This was about the same time his daughter Julie was born (August 4, 1970). The next year, one of his old patrol partners Buttedahl was involved in a shooting that generated publicity and later a high-profile assault arrest. The Department was going through a rough public relations period with the riots and the grand juries so it was contemplating involuntarily separating Erling. Both Joe Nicholas and Mike went to bat for Erling with Chief Tielsch. Their input convinced the Chief of Police that the dismissal action was inappropriate, so he stopped it. Mike had a sense of justice and a heart for fair play.

After a year and six months in Vice, he transferred to sex crime for eight months. Then he was assigned to training for a year as a Basic Instructor. On September 14, 1976, he was promoted to sergeant and assigned to Georgetown 3rd watch. This posting lasted two years. Then he was transferred to Narcotics for another two years. During these years Mike went to college earning an A.A. Degree in Police Science, a B.A. in Public Administration and a Master’s degree.

Chief Fitzsimmons in early 1980, noticed that Mike passed the lieutenant’s exam. The Chief thought with Mike’s strong investigative background he would be a good candidate to work IIS before being promoted. He was in IIS one year before being promoted on April Fool’s Day 1981 and assigned as the Illness Lieutenant in Personnel for the next year. On April 7, 1982, he was assigned to 2nd watch North then 3rd watch for almost eighteen months. Here his reputation of supporting his people grew. One day the precinct Crime Prevention Specialist got an unexpected phone call from her doctor informing her that the x-ray discovered what appear to be a suspicious tumor. This caused her to tear up. When Mike saw her distress and was informed why she was distraught, he insisted she go to the doctor’s office immediately. He drove her there and waited in the parking lot until the appointment was over. Then he took her to Baskin & Robins for an ice cream cone saying he always did this for his daughter.

On October 26, 1983, he became the Bomb Squad lieutenant. He was one of the last lieutenants trained to go down range to disarm a suspect device. He was also elected president of the Seattle Police Management Association at this time.

On December 5, 1986, Mike made Captain and was assigned to Training for almost two and a half years. Then he was assigned to the Metropolitan section until he retired on December 11, 1992. While in Metro he was instrumental in establishing the Department’s Chaplain Association which he felt the Department’s personnel needed on a 24/7 basis. While organizing the Chaplain Association structure, one of his subordinates was having a difficult financial time. Mike immediately gave the subordinate a $1,500 bridge loan with the stipulation to make payments as able – no rush and no interest.

The reason Mike retired was that the Chair of the Pension Board – George Benson appointed Mike to succeed Dave Grayson #1814 as the Executive Secretary of the Pension Office. Mike held this position for eighteen years overseeing many changes that improved the members’ benefits. He retired from the Pension Office in 2010.

Mike had many interests: making wine, making homemade pesto from his own home-grown basil, picking mushrooms, skiing, fishing, gardening, snorkeling, camping and model railroading. The attributes that marked his life was his sense of honor and compassion – his word was his bond. He volunteered at the Kenmore food bank for years helping the needy.

Mike is survived by his wife of 53 years, Maryann, daughter Julie, two granddaughters Maddison Ann and Cassidy Ann and grandson Mike Roland.