In the late 80’s I worked 3rd Watch patrol, (8pm to 4am) in the Central District of Seattle. Street gangs and crack houses were rampant, so the Watch Commander, Lt. Bill Moffat, formed a group of three two-officer cars, (designated the “09” cars—3G09, 3E09, and 3C09) to swoop down on open air drug dealing and gang gatherings. He asked me to be one of the officers in that group.
We weren’t responsible for 911 calls except for emergencies.
When a shooting, or other emergencies happened, we dropped everything and responded. We were three extra cars, besides the regular patrol cars going.
I worked 3-Charlie-09 with Jackson Lone. Jack was a younger officer with a great sense of humor. He was the lampshade on the head guy at parties, quick with a joke and always laughing. I had a lot of fun with him.
One night, we were the last of the three cars responding to a shooting scene, lights on, siren blaring. I was driving. As we raced down the city streets Jack tapped away on the in-car computer, pulling up the call.
“Talk to me Goose!” I said to him.
“We’ve got incoming bogies, Mav!”
We cracked each other up. I wonder what people would think if they knew what went on inside those police cars racing past.
Jack got married. My wife Doreen and I went to his wedding. It was on an old ferry docked on the Ship Canal, which connects Lake Washington with Lake Union, and then through the Ballard Locks, out to the salt water of Puget Sound.
A few months later, Jack got a divorce.
“I want my wedding gift back,” I said.
“You’re going to have to talk to Melanie,” (his soon-to-be ex-wife).
After I went to the detectives, Jack went to Narcotics. He later landed his dream job as a diver in the Harbor Unit.
I’d run into him from time to time.
“Herr Schteiger!” he’d say, in an exaggerated German accent.
On March 16th, 2005, I was working in Homicide. We were called to a scene; a Harbor officer fell off his boat, hitting his head and falling into the Ship Canal. He drowned. As I sped to the scene, I called my office, and spoke to Ila Birkland, the long-time Homicide admin.
“Do you know who it is?” I asked her.
It was Jack.
I wanted to puke.