Retired Seattle Police Officers Association

Last Ring

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

Phil Hannum #2776, retired Seattle Police Lieutenant passed away at home on December 6, 2014 after a long struggle with ALS. He was 77 years of age upon passing.

Phil was born and raised in Seattle, in the Queen Anne Hill neighborhood. As a youth, he was very active in Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church, which is just north of the Seattle Center. Phil served as an acolyte and later as a youth counselor. In fact his family lived in the church’s apartment. In the early 1950’s his family moved to the north end so Phil attended Lincoln High School where he played football. He graduated in the spring of 1954 at the age of 17.
On his 18th birthday, Phil joined the Navy Reserves. One year later he was activated and assigned to the newly refitted WWII aircraft carrier USS Lexington (CVA-16.) He was on the ship for two years, then reassigned to his reserve unit. Phil returned to Seattle and worked various jobs over the next five years in addition to being a Naval Reservist.
In 1962 he applied to the Lynnwood Police Department and was accepted, so he moved there. After five years with the City of Lynnwood, he applied to the Seattle Police Department in early 1967. The Department hired him in October of 1967. Three months later he attended the academy located on the 2nd floor of the Public Safety Building. Phil finished number one academically for the class. He was assigned to Patrol at the Wallingford Precinct. There, he worked aside John Gray #2629 and Jerry LaBorde #2788 for the next 10 months. At the end of 1968 he was transferred to the Detectives due to his previous investigative experience at Lynnwood. After a year in the Detectives, he took, and passed the Sergeants Promotional Exam. As he got closer to being promoted, he returned to North Patrol, Third Watch. One night working the adjoining car next to Mike Crist #3389, Phil got a call to a fight disturbance in the street outside of a tavern at 34th and Fremont. Then the call was upgraded to shots fired. As Mike and Phil arrived simultaneously, they saw about fifty outlaw bikers attempting to surround an independent biker/thug who was holding the gang at bay with a sawed off 12 gauge. One of the gang was dead – his heart removed by a shotgun blast. As each officer got out of their vehicle, each grabbed a shotgun and ordered all the bikers, “up against the wall, m#$%# f#$%#s” as they waited for backup. During the wait for other units to arrive, there were so many guns, knives, clubs, brass knuckles and dope sloughed on the sidewalk, that Phil and Mike remarked they had enough contraband to start a head shop and weapons emporium. Today they would have considered opening a marijuana dispensary and martial arts store. Six months later Phil was promoted to Patrol Sergeant in mid-1972.
He went to Seattle University during these years in his off-duty hours and earned his BA in 1974. In 1975 he attended the FBI Academy. In 1976 he attended the FBI Police Law Specialist Training at Quantico. So the next year he was assigned to the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Center as a BLET instructor for the next two years.
On August 1, 1980, Phil was promoted to Lieutenant on the same personnel order that Al Fridell #1744 was promoted to Director and Jerry Bickford #3693 was promoted to Sergeant. They all three went to Communications.
Phil met his wife Maureen in 1982 and married her the next year.
In 1985 Phil returned to Operations until 1989. Then he was assigned to the Training Center again as the Commander of BLET. He stayed there until he retired on June 1, 1991 after 29 ½ years in law enforcement.
During his retirement years, he continued to instruct future law enforcement officers as an adjunct faculty professor at Shoreline Community College from 1991 through 1996. Then the next two years he was an instructor for the Monroe Police Department. He also authored the Criminal Procedures for Washington Police Officers textbook for the Criminal Justice BLET Training. This textbook has been used to train hundreds of new officers.
Phil is survived by his wife of 31 ½ years, Maureen; his daughter; Ellen; two sons, both named Matthew; and five grandchildren.