Ron Cordova #7620, active Seattle Police Detective passed away suddenly on April 30, 2017 at the age of 46.
Ron was born and raised in Yuba, California. He attended Yuba City High School where he played football and participated in the Sheriff’s Cadet Program sponsored by Sutter County. After high school, he attended college supporting himself with various jobs. Then he dropped out of school to work full time for the next three years as a Corrections Officer for Sutter County. His wife, Tracy, also worked there. However, Ron’s goal was to become a police officer. So, in 1996 he went back to Butte Community College in Oroville. It was authorized to run a POST certified academy for aspiring recruits. Ron was not sponsored by any agency which meant he paid his own way. This is not uncommon in California and at one time, done in Washington before the State Training Commission was started. Tracy supported the family while Ron attended POST Academy #92.
When Ron graduated, he landed a Reserve Officer billet with the City of Wheatland in 1997. After a year, he was hired as one of the four regulars which included the Chief. Ron was interested in advanced training, but staffing would not permit it.
So, in 1990 he moved to the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office for the next three years. On this department of 50 deputies, he could attend advanced training. He became the Sheriff’s firearms instructor, driving instructor, FTO, and unofficial cowboy. One shift, he had to herd several cows off the highway back to grazing land. He did this by driving around the cows while mooing over the P.A. as he edged them back to the field. When he cleared the call with Radio, he began mooing for a MIR. He was commended for his ingenuity and written up for improper radio procedures. As if all this was not enough activity, he began coaching Little League, due to his son Zachary’s interest in pitching.
In 2002, Ron again moved to a larger, 80-officer, department. This time with the City of Woodland. There, he became the Department’s FTO, DARE Officer, firearms instructor, and a California State recognized expert gang detective. He testified in several trials. He attained the rank of Corporal during his ten years there.
In 2012, some of California’s cities began experiencing the economic slowdown. So, Ron moved to Seattle. He was a lateral onto Seattle PD on July 9, 2012. After challenging BLET and attending Post BLET, he was assigned for one year to North, 3rd Watch where he was commended for talking a person out of jumping off the Aurora Bridge. The next year, 2014, he transferred to 2nd West because it fit in better with his coaching avocation. He stayed only a few months before taking and passing the detective’s test.
His final three years were in the Homicide Force Investigation Team (FIT.) This is a DOJ mandated unit with several layers of review and oversight with accompanying community interest. Ron was always willing to be the first to respond to a callout and the last to leave. He frequently took work home to finish a case as soon as possible. He received a Chief’s Award for his investigative expertise. Yet he still found time to coach baseball (he was an NPA certified pitching coach,) and be the secretary of the Seattle Police Golf Association - even though he didn’t have much time to actually play many rounds. This assignment also pretty much eliminated his hunting and fishing trips with his dad.
Ron unexpectedly passed away at home, he was working in his office on a case. He is survived by his wife Tracy, and sons Ronnie and Zachary.
All during his 21 years in law enforcement, Ron said his dream was playing baseball every day. Maybe now he is.