Steve Rix #2645, retired Seattle Police Officer passed away on February 19, 2017. He was 72 years of age upon passing.
Steve was born and raised in Seattle. He graduated from Rainier Beach High School in 1963. Three months later, he joined the Regular Army for three years, rather than be drafted. He was stationed at Arlington Hall in the Washington DC area. He MO was cartographer, drawing up accurate relief maps of Southeast Asia, including Cambodia and Vietnam. This required him to have a top-secret clearance. After he was discharged, he returned to Seattle in the fall of 1966.
Steven’s grandfather Claude was a policeman in Seattle at the turn of the century – 1900. He was one of the first Seattle Police solo officers. He went on bikes before 1913. He rode an Excelsior Twin with a kerosene lamp as a headlight. The bike looked somewhat like a dirt bike. Back then, the streets were paved with bricks or cobblestones – hand hewn out of rocks by prison inmates. Claude was a great golfer. He donated a presentation trophy to the Police Golf Team in the 1930’s, which is still in use by the SPAA Golf Association.
Ron Rix, Steve’s father, was also a Seattle Police Officer, so he followed in the family tradition and joined the Department as a cadet in December 1966. One year later, he passed the police officer test. It was the same test as the cadet’s, except no typing requirement of 30 wpm. He was commissioned on November 27, 1967. He worked the Central Precinct, both East and West. Then he transferred to Georgetown. One summer night, about 8:00 p.m., while working with Bob “Scooter” Christophersen #3349, he got into a 5-mile chase with a motorcyclist down Rainier Avenue and its side streets. There were a lot of pedestrians out walking. Attempting to get away, the suspect drove up onto the crowded sidewalk. At that time, “Scooter” decided the pursuit had to be terminated, so pitted the motorcycle. Steve notified Radio that the chase was ended. Radio asked for a direction of travel for the cyclist. Steve replied, “Oh, under us, we ran over the bike.” The cyclist was thrown clear.
One of Steve’s favorite tricks on a slow night was to find a vacant parking lot, put his prowl car in reverse, and go as fast as safely possible, stick his keyed mic out the window and lock up the brakes. The result was a horrible screeching noise, and would go out over the air. This antic was known as “The Rix Slide”.
Steve worked off duty at the rock concerts at the Kingdome and the Seattle Center in the 1970’s. Then he landed the flagging job at the Fauntleroy Ferry Dock with Neal Hinton #2661. They kept the traffic moving there for years. When he was assigned to Communications as a dispatcher with its rotating schedule, he had to give up the ferry job and began flagging at construction sites when his work schedule permitted.
Steve retired with 25 years of service in 1992. But he continued to flag at various construction jobs and the Coleman Ferry Terminal. In 2001, he stopped a driver with a clown mask on, driving the wrong way down Yesler onto Alaskan Way. Immediately, squad cars began to surround the car and Steve. He had just stopped a fleeing bank robber. A few years later, Steve had to quit flagging due to his deteriorating health – he collapsed on a job site.
After quitting his post-retirement jobs, Steven became more active in the Blue Nights Motorcycle Club, riding his Harley Road King to Yellowstone and other national parks. He rode in several charity runs. He also rode the Harley on his camping and fishing trips around the Pacific Northwest. He became active in animal rescues – dogs, cats, and wildlife.
When Steve was laid to rest at Tahoma National Cemetery, Bob Christophersen, Steve’s old partner and sergeant, was part of the Veterans Honor Guard at the graveside service.
Steve is survived by his three daughters, Jodi, Samantha, and Stephanie; seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.