Retired Seattle Police Officers Association

Pension Office News | July 2015


There are three (3) LEOFF II retirements to report this month.
Don Smith #4258 was raised in Lakewood. He lived in the Clover Park School District. After graduating from Clover Park High School, he joined the Army. His MOS was Military Police. When his three year hitch was up he applied to the Seattle Police Department in 1978. He continued his reserve service in the Army for another five years.
In 1979 Don was hired as a police recruit and attended BLET Class 115. Upon completing his FTO phase, he was assigned to Georgetown. He and Tim Moellendorf #4309 were assigned as partners working Relief in the Valley and West Seattle. During those years many citizens thought the Georgetown Police were separate from the Seattle Police. During the next six patrol years Don worked with Joe Kessler #4601, Mike Nolan #4903, and Steve Paulsen #4857.
In 1986 Don teamed up with the smartest and hardest working partner ever – Richter. Over the next four years they earned several commendations. On two different occasions they captured the suspect(s) who had shot and wounded a County Deputy and a Seattle Officer. For all his crime crushing prowess, Richter had some interpersonal deficiencies. One time as he sauntered by an officer eating a hot dog, Richter reached over and pulled the dog out of the bun and continued on his way eating the meat. The shocked officer was left with only a soggy mustard-filled bun. Another time Richter did not follow the old axiom, “Don’t sh*# in the Captain’s Hat.” He did it in the Captain’s office! That is when Don learned that the precincts are really run by the desk clerks. Bob Baumgartner #3263, called Don back to the South Precinct and ordered him to clean up Richter’s “doggie do” in Captain Marquart’s office. Don claimed even with all the cleaning up after Richter many times, this was the best assignment and time he had on the Department.
In 1990 he made Sergeant working Patrol for two years. Then he returned to Canine as the Commander for three years. In late 1995 he went back to Patrol. The next year he was assigned as an assistant venue commander during the 1996 Jewish Federation Convention. He helped plan and implement the onsite Incident Management System due to concerns of a CBRNE threat. This experience prepared him for the November 1999 “Battle in Seattle.”
The World Trade Organization held its conference in Seattle during the last week of November 1999. Don was a member of the training cadre that trained officers in demonstration management in the weeks before the conference. During the weeklong event, he was the night venue commander responsible for security at the Convention Center.
As a result of his experiences during the Jewish Federation Convention and the WTO riot, Don implemented the Department’s Apparatus Response Team to defeat the dragon sleeves and tripod devices demonstrators used to block vehicular and pedestrian traffic. He assisted numerous police departments, both nationally and internationally to set up and develop protest anti-device teams.
In 2001 he transferred to Traffic, first as the DWI Squad Sergeant and later as the A.M. Enforcement Sergeant. He was in Traffic for a total of fourteen years.
Don retired on June 30, 2015 after 35 ½ years of service. As yet he has no retirement plans. He may even go job hunting because his wife has laid down the law, saying “Don, you can’t just hang around the house and drive me nuts.”
Dale Williams #4407 was raised in Olympia. He graduated from Saint Martin’s Preparatory. Then he attended two years at WSU. During the summers he worked in a chalkboard manufacturing company (Dale must have thought he was going to be a teacher/coach.) Eventually he needed more money so he started driving a logging truck full time, and he had to drop out of college.
After several years of driving truck he decided to try something different, so he joined the Army. Dale spent four years in the MPs, training dogs and investigating accidents. He attained the rank of sergeant. After discharge he applied to the Seattle Police Department.
Dale was hired and assigned to BLET Class 123 (Mike Edwards is the only active officer still working from this class.) Upon completion of their FTO phase, both were assigned to the East Precinct. At this time a lot of new officers were coming on board. One of the traits of these new officers was excessive talking on the radio. So Mike and Dale came up with the idea of a “Golden Mike Award”, a plaque to be presented at roll call to the worst offenders. This award still hangs in the East Precinct.
Dale moved over to Owen Burt’s #3562 squad, working with Fred Ibuki #3982 and Joe Brower #3316 interdicting street narcotics on Broadway and around 23rd and Madison. On April 23, 1985, Dale Eggers #2979 was murdered while working off duty in a bank. Pat Fitzsimons #4192 and Ed Joiner #3214 called Dale to the scene and ordered him to work his narcotics sources to ID the suspect. Dale got to work serving numerous warrants on rock houses and gang banger haunts. After two weeks, the pressure worked and the suspect’s girlfriend gave him up.
As a result of his efforts in this case, Dale was assigned to Street Narcotics for a couple of years. Then he went to the South Precinct. One day at shift change he spotted a vehicle that had been taken in an armed carjacking. The suspects used the car to do drive-bys and several robberies. So Dale gave chase to these inherently dangerous suspects when they attempted to elude. After a while Dale decided it was best to terminate the pursuit and notified Radio. There was a communication gap here. Radio thought terminated meant quit following. However, Dale meant “not quit, but pit.” So the suspects were pitted and arrested at Rainier and Genesee. Now Pat Fitzsimons, like Radio, thought terminating a pursuit meant to quit. He appreciated Dale’s good police work so much that Dale was immediately transferred to a walking beat in David Sector, working for his friend Fred Ibuki. A couple of years later Dale went back South to be in ACT, working for Ariel Vela #4727. After another two years, Dale transferred to Mounted. This was great duty. Especially when he got to work the Mariners games during the team’s dream season (99 wins and going to the World Series playoffs.) Dale’s final Operations assignment was North ACT during WTO working for Ron Smith #4368.
In 2000 Dale moved back to Investigations, working Vice, then ICAC. In ICAC he would pose as an underage child, trolling for sexual predators. By 2009 he got fatigued posing over the Internet as a teenage girl, so he moved back to Vice for his final six years. Dale retired on June 30, 2015 after 35 years of service.
He and his wife Linda are now living in Eastern Washington. Dale plans on exploring the Blue Mountains, hunting and fishing when he’s not building another home. If he has any spare time, he may get a part time job that doesn’t interfere with life.
Deborah (Debie) King #4097 joined the Seattle Police Department on May 11, 1977 as a Parking Enforcement Officer (PEO). Originally the PEO worked for the City’s Treasury Department and their title was “Meter Maid”. This was part of the City’s effort to reduce labor costs by replacing the sworn police officer on 3 wheelers. The term “Meter Maid” took years to die out. 
Debie thought the PEO job would allow her a good look at possibly becoming a police officer.  Six months after being hired, Debie and five other PEO’s were assigned to the first PEO Night Shift (3-11 pm) to work traffic at King Dome events and answer evening parking complaints though out the City. No one selected wanted the Night Shift, but after the first week it was obvious there was a ton of freedom and fun to be had so they told everyone how terrible the shift was so they wouldn’t be bumped by senior PEO’s. In 1977 Overtime parking fees were $1.00 and when the City raised the fee to $2.00 midyear, PEO’s were convinced the public would be mad enough to take a swing at them. 
Emmet Kelsie #2794, who did Debie’s Background Investigation, encouraged (prodded) her to take the Police Officer test. She finally took the test and began the Academy on January 9, 1980 graduating on March 27th. She was part of the second wave of hiring female officers. After Field Training she was assigned to South Second Watch in the Georgetown Precinct. In 1981 she was assigned to first watch West Central and tasked along with her squad to clean up Pioneer Square in two weeks per the Mayor Charlie Royer. The mission was accomplished in a week and a half.
In 1982 she became a Hostage Negotiator and eventually Chief Negotiator serving total of 11 years. She worked North Precinct First and Second Watch for four years. Then in 1988 she was assigned as the South Precinct Crime Analyst for four months before being promoted to Sergeant in 1989, and then assigned as the Employee Planning & Affirmative Action Sergeant.
In 1990 she was asked by Herb Johnson#2414 to take the Crime Analysis Unit Sergeant position reporting to the Intelligence Unit Lieutenant. During 1994 the unit was moved under Nancy McPherson in the new Community Policing Bureau.  Mid 1996 she went back to South Patrol until she was promoted to Lieutenant in January 1997. She filled in for Jim Pugel #4696 for two months as East Precinct Operations Commander before going to Third Watch North. On her sixth night at the Precinct the sump pump stopped working causing the entire basement to flood. The men’s locker room and range were completely destroyed leaving first and second watch officers without uniforms and duty gear. She served as North Operations Commander for two years until 1999. During this, she attended the FBI National Academy. In mid-1999, she was assigned security planning for a WTO venue site (Renaissance Madison Hotel).    
In January 2000 she was transferred to Internal Investigations when all the complaints (not as a result of her planning) from the November WTO riots were flooding in. To increase transparency, the new civilian Auditor and the new position of Civilian Director of OPA were hired requiring total revamping of section procedures. In July 2001, after all the turmoil from the WTO complaints, Debie planned her escape from OPA to the Domestic Violence Unit. She remained there until her retirement. 
The Domestic Violence/Elder Crimes Unit and the Victim Support Team (VST) became her passion, making the decision to retire on June 30, 2015 after 38 years all the more difficult.

In retirement, Debie will live fulltime on her Oregon farm, only thirty minutes from where she grew up. She plans to do Search and Rescue on horseback, hang out with her critters, and spend time with her family.

  • The deadline is September 30, 2015 for signing up for the free credit monitoring through Experian’s “Protect My ID” as a result of the Premera data breach. After that, the service is not available. If you are having trouble signing up, call the customer service line which is on the back of your Premera card. The customer service rep will walk you through the process.
  • Don’t forget to reserve Wednesday evening, September 9th, 2015 for the Retired Officers Banquet at the Nile Country Club, 6601 244th St. SW, Mountlake Terrace.
  • The Pension Office has been getting numerous inquiries regarding late mail deliveries of the City checks. US Mail is very slow. Also, mail theft is on the rise. So the City is encouraging Direct Deposit of pension checks. There is the strong possibility that Direct Deposit will be mandatory sometime next year, so sign up now and avoid the rush.
Jeanette Gray¸wife of deceased retired Seattle Police Patrolman Gary Gray #1842, passed away on May 13, 2015 at the age of 83.
Frances Mairs, wife of deceased retired Patrolman John Mairs #395 passed away on July 3, 2015 at the age of 88. 

Mark your calendars for the RAP picnic at the range on August 6, 2015, Thursday. Bocce ball prelims start around 10:00AM. Food will be served about noon.