Retired Seattle Police Officers Association

Last Ring

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

Russ Proctor # 1724 retired Seattle Police Detective passed away on September 28, 2014. He was 84 years of age upon passing.

Russ was born into the Proctor family, a well-thought-of, prominent family in the Central area. He attended Garfield High. He participated in Track and Field events. After graduation in 1948, Russ went to work at the Post Office. Then classmate John Rodgers #1642, and Russ thought they would emulate Russ’s older brother Norman. Norman was a fighter pilot (P51 Mustang) in WWII with the Tuskegee Airmen in the 322nd Squadron, which escorted bombers into Axis airspace. So the two classmates joined the Air Force in late 1949, wanting to be pilots. While they were in training, the Korean War broke out. During the early months, the Allies were not doing do well. And our planes could not compete with the MIGs. So John and Russ quickly rethought their military career plans and decided to remain enlisted men because the pilots had to be officers. The two became aviation engineer surveyors, plotting out air bases on Okinawa and in the Philippines. They sent out the officers to do the flying and fighting. Who said the troops aren’t smarter than the brass? Russ and John did this until their enlistment was up in 1953. Then they returned to Seattle. Russ went back to the Post Office. In 1955 John joined the Department and began to lobby Russ to apply, which Russ did the next year. He was hired on October 8, 1956.

At that time there were only six other African American officers on the Department: Marvin Bagely, Hascal Humes, Walt Lawson #1109, Frank Marshall, Mel Price, and John Rodgers; and one African American Police Woman, Lillian Mitchell #1658.

After Russ went through his three-day orientation, he teamed up with his old friend John. They worked as partners in the Central area for the next seven years. While working together one day, Russ knocked on the porch door at a domestic dispute. The husband answered the door while pointing a large knife at Russ’s stomach. The fight was on. Russ and John wrestled the knife away but the suspect but Russ fell off the porch onto a rockery. The injury from the fall haunted him the rest of his career. In 1963 John decided to become a full time college student, so he left the Department using his GI Bill. Russ transferred to the North Precinct. In 1970 he became a detective for three years in Juvenile. Then he landed a spot in the School Safety Squad working for Frank Jones #1885 for two years. Then he was assigned to the Seattle Center Detail for a year, working for Bob DeForeest #1483. Then in late 1976 Russ returned to Patrol working with Ron Sylve #3537. The two were lifting a drunk into the prowl car and Russ reinjured his back severely. He tried to continue his career in Patrol but the injury forced him out in April of 1979 after twenty-three years on the job.

In retirement, Russ moved to Nine Mile Falls in eastern Washington. He became a gentleman farmer. Russ is survived by his three adult daughters; Marla, Rockell, and Teri.