Pete Huff #2964, retired Seattle Police Sergeant passed away on October 1, 2016 at the age of 70.
Pete was born on April 25, 1946 in Providence Hospital where his mother worked as a nurse. He was one of eight siblings – six boys and two girls. His father died when he was six months old, so his mother not only raised the family while working at the hospital, she kept the small family farm, in Kenmore, going. The older children helped. She insisted that Pete would attend Catholic grade school so she drove him and his older siblings in to Seattle every day to attend school or church. When it came time for him to go to high school, Blanchet would not accept him due to the antics of his older brother Nick Huff #3162. Nick rode his horse from Kenmore into Blanchet during his graduation week. The Vice Principal, Father Malihan, was yelling at Nick to get his horse out of the school. He told the priest to quit yelling, it was irritating the horse. Malihan didn’t listen, so the horse bit him. Nick was expelled (he never graduated until 1991.) Pete, not being allowed to attend, went to Bothell High.
After graduating from high school in 1965, Pete got a job at Advanced Outboard as a rigger. Next, he landed at Boeing for a couple of years as a mock-up mechanic, working on prototype aircraft. While there, he met his wife Vicky, and joined the Navy Reserve. When Boeing lost the TFX contract, layoffs were imminent, so he applied to the Seattle Police Department.
Pete joined the Department in August 1968. He attended the Academy with Mike Hargraves #2974. One year later, he was working with his older brother Nick, yes – the one that got kicked out of Blanchet - on Car 151. Pete wrote all the reports because he was educated and had the high school diploma to prove it. One morning they got a stolen report call in the northwest Capitol Hill area. The stolen vehicle was a restored classic 1940’s MG. After taking the report, they spotted the occupied stolen. Soon as they hit their lights and siren, the chase was on. Back and forth around the apartments in the area, each time the suspect cuts a corner, he bangs up the MG’s fenders. The complainant looks out her window each time the pursuit passes her apartment and with each circuit, the MG was more damaged. Finally, the suspect rolls the MG – it’s totaled. Pete and Nick gaffle up the suspect and called the victim to get her car. All she said was, “Why did I call you #@&*$ guys!”
Pete recovered so many rolling stolens that he was recruited to Auto Theft by Jim “Poopsie” Parker #1843 in 1973. Pete stayed there five years. Then he made sergeant in 1978. He was assigned to Patrol for two years. He continued to moonlight working the rock concerts at the Seattle Center and the sporting events at the Kingdome.
In 1980 he transferred to Harbor and became a master diver. He helped a diver overcome claustrophobia while diving in the Duwamish for evidence in a robbery. The water was so dark that the officer could not tell up from down. So the diver panicked and managed to get to the surface. Pete held the diver’s hand, walked him back into the river, staying with him until the panic attack was over. The diver made four more dives that day and never suffered another panic attack. Another time a diver was afraid to jump 20 feet down into Elliot Bay. Pete worked with him. Pete said, “On the count of three we’ll both jump.” Well, Pete jumped but the officer stayed on the pier. Then, a nearby drunk called out to the officer, “you’re an SPD wussie” and coward, etc. etc. The officer yelled back at the drunk, “I’m no wussie” and jumped down the 20 feet in his scuba gear.
After five years in Harbor, Pete was transferred to the Evidence and Property Room. During this time his son Matthew was graduating from Blanchet High. Yes, the school Pete could not attend but was now allowed to be a volunteer football, baseball and basketball coach. They, Matt and Pete mentioned about Nick not having a high school diploma, even though he earned a BA, MA and rose to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Army. The current principal thought the horse bite story was funny. So Nick and Matt got to graduate together in 1991. Now you know the rest of the story.
Pete injured his back while working in the Evidence Room when a cheap $19.95 bargain basement, low-bidder, department chair collapsed under him. Then when he went back to Patrol in 1994, two different car seats collapsed – one during a “help the officer” call, and another responding to a fast back-up, aggravated his old injury. One of these calls was to assist his cousin, Ted Jacoby #3959. Pete was forced to retire in 1999 after 31 years of service.
In retirement, Pete and Vicky travelled throughout the USA and Europe. He was able to enjoy water skiing and scuba diving. When his back was up to it, he would even golf a few holes.