Retired Seattle Police Officers Association

Last Ring

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

William McKenna #2886, Retired Seattle Police Officer and Chief Radio Dispatcher passed away on October 20, 2014 at the age of 65.

Bill grew up in Tukwila. He attended Foster High School where he played baseball. He got a baseball scholarship to Green River Community College. Unfortunately, the scholarship only paid for tuition, so after a year, his creditors told him to “…get a job.” He applied to be a Seattle Police Cadet in 1967. He passed the test which was more difficult than the Police Officer’s test because typing was included, with a 30 words per minute minimum without errors. He was hired in April of 1968. Two years later he became a sworn officer. He spent three years working in Georgetown.

On April 4, 1973 he transferred to the newly renovated Communications Center which was on the second floor of the PSB. There he found a home for the next eighteen years. In 1976 he was promoted to Chief Dispatcher. A few years later he met Jennifer #4130, a co-worker whom he married. In the mid-eighties, Bill designed and set up a backup system for the 911 phone service in case a disaster disabled normal service. Bill was always acknowledged as a talented craftsman and problem solver, but now he became known as a technology geek.

On May 22, 1991 Bill returned to Patrol in the North Precinct. But after only five months, the Evidence Unit Sergeant Pete Huff #2964 got Bill assigned to the unit housed in the old City jail on the seventh floor of the PSB. He worked with I.T. to computerize the evidence inventory and the log in/out procedure. Bill finished out his sworn career there and retired on January 21, 1998 with almost 30 years of service. But the very next day he went to work as a civilian for Patti Defazio #5635 in the Department’s Information Technology Unit housed in the Dexter Hortin Building. Bill worked on several departmental I.T. projects over the next seven years. 

In 2005 he totally retired. Jennifer and Bill sold the home he built twenty years earlier in Lake Bay by Gig Harbor. They bought a farm in Elma to raise horses, llamas, alpacas and other animals. Bill built many of his out buildings. If he did not know how to make or repair something, he would get on YouTube for his fix-it info. However, he did not let his daily chores interfere with golf. He lowered his handicap by several strokes.

Bill is survived by Jennifer, his wife of thirty years; four daughters, Kim, Jodi, Jana and Lindan; a son Erik; and six grandchildren.