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I sat and looked back today at all the partners I had in my career at the Seattle Police Department.  Not counting the ones I worked with for a week or two, I had a lot of partners.  Many people saw the good, the funny, and the profoundly tragic things someone sees in a career as a police officer and detective in a large city in America.

My first regular partner in the police department was Bob Alexander.  Bob and I came on about the same time, but he was from another world from me.

A young black man who grew up in Yakima, his and my experience in the world was different, though we worked well together, had a great time, and became close friends.

Next was my academy classmate, Steve Sparby.  An ex-Marine, stiff-collared, a few years older than me. We were often paired together during our academy days and gained the nickname “Husky and Starch.”  I wasn’t Starch.  We were great friends, and our families spent a lot of time together.  Several years later, I was near his bedside when he died, much too young, ignoring symptoms that could have saved his life had he sought treatment.  Our partnership ended when he left for the K-9 unit.

Ken Hooper was next.  Another great friend.  We had a lot of fun (and got into some trouble) together.   He lived near me and invited my wife and me to dinner at his house one night.   I stopped at the store and bought a bottle of Thunderbird enhanced wine.  When his wife, Pam, opened the door, I said, “I brought wine,” and handed her the bottle.  “Thanks,” she said, looking at the bottle for which I’d paid a dollar and a half, a bewildered look on her face.

Ken transferred to the K-9 unit too.  I began to see a pattern: I was being traded for dogs.

Later, after my transfer to the East Precinct, it was Bill Brandner.  Again, a lot of fun, including an incident involving the Hokey Pokey.

Finally to the detectives and partners like Gary Nelson (East Precinct detectives), Chris Lyon (Sex Crimes), and finally Homicide, where I had great partners including Sonny Davis (yes, even Sonny), John Nordlund, Donna O’Neal, Greg Mixsell, Mike Ciesysnki and finally Jason Kasner, my longest tenured partner from 2004 to 2016 when I retired.

I learned a lot from each of my partners.  I hope I taught them a thing or two as well.


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