Pension Office News | October 2016
NEW SEATTLE POLICE DEPARTMENT RETIREMENTS
There are 2 retirements to report this month, both Plan II:
Cloyd Steiger #4313 grew up in Federal Way. When he was 10 years old, he watched the TV show Adam-12. After watching the show, he told his parents that he wanted to be a police officer when he grew up. When he was 12, he wrote a letter to the Seattle Police Department telling them that he wanted to work there when he grew up. They responded with a nice letter and a recruiting pamphlet. When he turned 15, he became a Tacoma Police Explorer.
He read everything he could about police work, fiction and non-fiction, including novels by Joseph Wambaugh, an LAPD Detective. Cloyd watched Police Story, a television series produced by Wambaugh (later, Cloyd got to know Wambaugh, and still exchanges emails and calls with him, mostly about Husky football, where Wambaugh’s grandson Jake is a linebacker.)
While attending Decatur High, Cloyd played football and wrestled. When Cloyd turned sixteen, he became a volunteer firefighter in Federal Way. While doing this, he received his EMT certification. After high school he attended Green River Community College. There, he continued to wrestle. He earned an AA in Criminal Justice.
Later, he worked as an EMT, eight 24-hour shifts, per month. King County Medic One was hiring new medics. Several paramedics tried to convince Cloyd to apply. He told them he was not interested – he was going to be a police officer.
He met Doreen Ellis in a fire station one day in 1978 when she was visiting from Spokane. They stayed in touch and got married in 1981. They have three sons; Casey, Landon, and Dylan (Casey and Landon are Seattle Police Officers.)
When he turned 20 and a half, he called the Seattle Police Department and asked if they were hiring. They were, and sent him a study packet, which he memorized. He took the test for SPD. His background investigator was John Pirak #3951, who learned everything about him, but hired him anyway. He reported to the Public Safety Building on Monday, November 12, 1979, a little over a month past his 21st birthday. He attended Academy Class #118, under Tac Officer Larry Inman #2944, along with Steve Sparby #4307, Ed Striedinger #4311, Greg McFadden #4306, Tom Pike #4310, and Jerry Kempe #4315. Ariel Vela #4727 was also in his class, but worked for UWPD at the time. Cloyd was the second youngest officer on SPD, Tim Moellendorf # 4309 was two days younger.
After his FTO period, he was assigned to the Georgetown Precinct, 3rd Watch, Robert Sector, working for Emett Kelsie #2794. He was on the Emergency Response Team (later called SWAT,) and then went to the East Precinct, 3rd Watch, Charlie Sector, working for Ken Starkweather #2441, and later Jerry Wabshall #3074 before switching to Relief Squad working for Chris Kolar #3141.
In late 1989 he took the detective’s test. He spoke to Tom Witkowski #2318, the Burglary lieutenant and asked him to keep him in mind when he needed detectives. Witkowski told him they weren’t taking new detectives until next summer. A week later, he got orders for the East Precinct Detectives, where he worked for Marsha Camp #3989, and then Jerry Bickford #3693. After a couple years, he transferred to the Special Assault Unit. He was working at his desk in SAU one day in 1994 when Dave Ritter #2373, a sergeant in Homicide approached Cloyd and asked if he wanted to work in Homicide. “Sure,” he said. A few weeks later, he was transferred there (a rigorous selection process!)
He worked in Homicide for Cindy Tallman #4194, then for Don Cameron #2058, Dave Ritter, Jay Mooney #2158, and finally for Bob Vallor #4695 over the next 22 years. Over that time his partners included John Nordlund #2909, Greg Mixsell #4487, Donna O’Neal #5257, Mike Ciesynski #4749 and Jason Kasner #5825 (his longest partnership of almost 12 years.)
He worked on some of the most notorious murders in Seattle during that time, including the murder of Officer Antonio Terry #5492, the Pang Warehouse arson in which four Seattle Firefighters were killed, and the murder of Officer Tim Brenton #6699.
After a particularly notorious murder, he found out that one of the suspects had fled to Saipan. He approached Emett Kelsie, the Homicide Lieutenant saying “Emett, I have to go to Saipan.” There was a pause, then Kelsie said, “Where the hell is Saipan?” He was told it’s a little island in the South Pacific about ten thousand miles away from anywhere. “How soon do you have to go?” he asked. “Tomorrow,” Cloyd replied. After another pause, Kelsie said, “Okay.” The next morning, Cloyd and John Nordlund were on a plan to Saipan.
In 2013, Cloyd received a call from the American Investigative Society of Cold Cases, a national non-profit group that helps agencies nationally and internationally with cold case murders, asking him to be a consultant. He has made several national contacts through that group and which resulted in writing the foreword of a textbook by a Forensic Psychiatrist John Liebert, MD, Psychiatric Criminology: A Roadmap for Rapid Assessment, which came out this past August.
Cloyd is proud of his career, but he’s most proud of pinning SPD badges on two of his sons – Casey and Landon.
Cloyd learned of an opening for Chief Criminal Investigator for the Attorney General’s Office Homicide Investigation Tracking System, and helping agencies, particularly smaller ones, with their homicide investigations, as well as working on cold-case murders. He applied for this part-time job, (only 40 hours a week) and was hired in February 2016. He officially retired on March 8th, 2016 after 36 years and 4 months with SPD.
Besides working at the AG’s (who never call him at two in the morning like SPD sergeants did) he spends time with his five grandchildren.
Jim Johnson #5426, is named after his father, retired Seattle Police Sergeant Jim Johnson #1919, grew up in the Lake City area. He attended Nathan Hale High School with Kay McArthur #4516 who became the North Precinct Secretary years later, and John Gardenhire, #4997 who became a South Precinct Officer after playing for Coach James at the U of W. During the summers, he got a job at the Seattle Center’s Fun Forest as a ride operator. There, he got to know John Foley #1247, and Mike Hargraves #2974. When he graduated in 1976, he went to work in a Lake City print shop for thirteen years. To supplement his income, he became a paid, part-time firefighter with the Shoreline Fire District. He also joined the King County Reserve Deputy Sheriff Unit. He teamed up with Reserve County Mountie Bob Berglund #3719 who was an SPD Communications Chief Dispatcher. Bob recruited Jim out of KCPD Reserves into the SPD Reserves as a stepping stone (the bonus points) to become an SPD regular. Jim was hired on the SPD in November of 1989. He was assigned his dad’s old Patrolman’s badge, #449.
Jim’s first permanent assignment after his Student Officer training phase was 3rd Watch, South Precinct working for Bill Abbey #3543 and O.C. Burt #3562. He stayed South for two years. Then in 1990, he decided to move to the North Precinct to be closer to home. One day in 1992 he saw Kay, who he recognized from high school, knowing that secretaries run the Department, he asked her if he could land on 2nd Watch. No problem – it happened. While answering a disturbance call in Ballard, Jim managed to irritate the suspect who was a fisherman. The suspect attempted to filet Jim’s left calf muscle. The suspect was subdued but Jim still carries the large scar. This injury stirred his interest in blood borne pathogens, so he became an instructor in the topic. He also was tapped to be a WMD trainer and an FTO.
In 2000, Jim put in for Harbor and was accepted. He was an avid fisherman until he was told it did not look professional to have fishing poles on the stern of the patrol boats. So he became a diver with a speargun. He was one of the original drivers of RHI. On a cold February evening shift, he drove the RHI while SWAT attempted practicing ship boarding onto Patrol 1. Jim came in a little too fast, cut the wheel a little too hard, flipping the ridged hull inflatable. The SWAT guys were thrown clear in the water. And Jim was trapped under the inverted RHI so had to get untangled in order to swim down and out to be rescued by Patrol 1. The SWAT members were already rescued and on board. He didn’t hear the end of this for months. Another time he was assigned to put on a water demonstration with Patrol 4’s water cannon for a group of Harbor Unit supporters from the boating community. The event was at Gas Works Park. As Jim headed in with the water cannon going full blast, a wave caught Patrol 4’s stern causing the bow to shift. Some of the crowd got doused, especially an old man with his young grandson. The old man turned out to be Chief Kerlikowski. He contemplated sending Jim to 1st Mounted as the stable hand, in charge of the barn clean-out detail, except Gil’s grandson loved the monitor shower - thus saving Jim’s career.
He retired last month with just shy of 27 years of service. He is moving to Southern Arizona with his new bride, Beth. She has a job there as a director of literature sales. They are going to be reverse snowbirds because all their family is up here while their jobs are down there.
PENSION OFFICE NEWS
- Medicare Part B Reimbursement Requests are due shortly. The form is in this edition of the Guardian. Please clip, fill out, and return (along with the necessary documentation) for year 2016. The form will also be posted on the RSPOA website – click here to download - or you can email us at email@example.com to get a copy of it.
- The 2017 Reporting and Statement of Other Health/Medical Benefits forms will be mailed soon. We need these forms filled out and returned to the Pension Office to satisfy our audit requirements.
- Rumors, rumors, and more rumors…but here is the correct information:
On January 1, 2017, we are changing insurance administrators (carriers) from Premera, to UMR. Why? It has been a long, hard struggle for the Pension Office staff and many of our retirees to get Premera to process our generous LEOFF I benefit correctly, and in a timely manner. UMR has a designated, and specially trained team assigned to the Police Pension Office to both take calls, and process your claims on our behalf. The UMR provider network is backed by United Health Care, which is one of the largest nationwide networks, and does not compromise in your medical vision, and prescription benefits.
In November, the Pension Office will be mailing detailed information to all our retirees regarding this change. Then again, about mid-December you will be mailed a second letter which will include your new UMR identification card to start using on January 1, 2017 for your LEOFF I medical, vision, and RX coverage. Most important fact: Your LEOFF I medical, vision, and RX benefits have NOT CHANGED!
Your providers should be told to start billing UMR in place of Premera, starting on January 1, 2017. Again, detailed information will be coming to you via the mail in November and December – Please be watching for it! Questions: contact Jan in the Pension Office at 206-386-1286.
- Finally, your dental coverage remains the same with Delta Dental of Washington.