Tom “TC” Miller #3023, retired Seattle Police Homicide Sergeant passed away on July 13th, 2021, at the age of 76.
TC went to school in the Bay Area of greater San Francisco. After high school, he entered into the US Army. After discharge, he settled in Seattle.
His first job was with Seattle Transit. He worked there from May 16th, 1967, until January 19th, 1969. During this time, he applied to the Seattle Police Department. He passed the screening tests and the background.
The department hired him on January 20th, 1969. After the three-day orientation, he was assigned to patrol for several months. He was then assigned to Academy Class #58. Frank Kampsen #2769 was one of TC's academy mates. This was a time of mass police hiring due to all the civil unrest (riots) across the nation. Seattle was not different. Many of the older officers did not want to work with the rookies. So TC, having completed the Academy just weeks earlier, was designated as a Training Officer. His first student officer was Mike Burke #3140., who had more street time than TC, but had not finished Academy Class #60. They were together during the UO season, about three months. Decades later, in the early 1991, Mike as an Acting Sergeant called Homicide to the scene of a suspicious death, a possible murder. It looked like someone hung the victim and kicked the stool from under his feet. TC was the Homicide Sergeant that responded. He informed Mike this was not a murder, nor even suspicious. It was an obvious accidental death of auto eroticism. Mike replied, “what is that?” TC explained it. Then Mike defensively said, “how would I know, you never taught me about that when you were my FTO.”
TC worked patrol for the first 15 years of his career, both South and North. In the 1970s, he and Mike Donnely #3129 worked 3 Union 4. One night they responded to a stop and rob at 65th and 15th NE. Both officers had a premonition that this call could go very wrong. As they arrived on scene, the armed suspect began to turn toward TC, so Mike had to shoot him with a shotgun. The pellets struck the suspect’s groin region. The suspect was grievously wounded. No eroticism for him from then on. Shortly thereafter, Mike and TC caught several suspects in burglaries in progress. Soon their district crime went down, while neighboring districts crimes went up. The odd coincidence about the partnering of Mike and TC, was that Mike also grew up in the Bay Area and even dated the sister of TC's girlfriend. But they never encountered each other until assigned to Union Sector.
TC got an opportunity to go to K9. Then Mike partnered up with Tim Tieken #2721. After a while, Tim went to the Canine unit. So, Mike figured why fight it, he might as well go to the dogs also. And he did. The three were there together.
TC was very in tuned with his partner, Police Dog Mitch. In fact, he was so in tune with all dogs that he was made the Unit Training Officer. The department sent TC to Bleckede, Germany to attend Zollhundeschule - dog training school for police dogs.
Mitch and TC gave many demonstrations at the U of W Basketball games and interviews on TV and radio programs about the department’s Canine program. One evening, Mitch gave a Golden Gardens tough guy a real-life demonstration. Mr. tough guy suddenly pushed TC, Mitch jumped out up the patrol car’s window and pulled the suspect to the ground. Then the suspect got to his feet and begin to run away. Mitch pursued him and again dragged him to the ground. Now the suspect attempted to fight Mitch, a mistake. Mitch is very upset and tears a hunk out of the suspect’s calf. Then pins him to the ground. Now the suspect got the point, and a trip to the emergency room.
TC made Sergeant in 1988. Two years later, he transferred to the Detectives. In 1991, he was assigned to Homicide. He retired from the Department on August 2nd, 1997. He had 30 years total service with the city. His favorite duty was working with Mitch.
In retirement, he was the Northwest Regional Security Consultant for ARCO Corp from 1997 to 2007. Then he spent his time camping with his wife of 26 years, Reva, visiting friends and occasionally training a dog.
TC is survived by his wife Reva, who was a department Administrative Specialist in Vehicle Crimes, his three sons TJ, Andy and Jake.