PORT ANGELES — Clallam County Sheriff’s Sgt. Randy Pieper has served the county for 43 years, and though he retired from his post as a commissioned officer at the start of the year he isn’t yet finished working with the Sheriff’s Office.
Pieper was honored for his years of service to the county during Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting, where law enforcement from local, state and federal agencies gathered to wish him well into his semi-retirement.
“This is kind of an unusual retirement,” Pieper said. “I’m essentially retiring from patrol and moving to the evidence room as — I like the title I picked — forensic evidence manager.”
Sheriff Bill Benedict pinned Pieper with the Sheriff’s Star after listing many of Pieper’s accomplishments. He also presented Pieper with a plaque.
Pieper began his career with Clallam County in 1977 as a reserve deputy and began working full time in 1980. From 1977 through 2008, Pieper was assigned to the West End, but when he was promoted to sergeant he became a patrol supervisor in central and eastern Clallam County.
When Pieper began his career as a reservist, his unit number was 117. Throughout the years he has had many numbers assigned to him, but Pieper said he was happy to end his career with his original number.
“I was surprised when I was promoted and I ended up with the same number that I started with,” he said.
Said Benedict: “Sgt. Pieper’s 43 years of commissioned law enforcement service has set both a longevity and productivity bar that is unequaled in Clallam County history.
“I can’t go back in our archives to find anybody that has served 40 years, let alone 43.”
Pieper was the lead firearms instructor, range master and had participated in nearly every Neighborhood Watch meeting in Clallam County for the past 10 years. Sgt. Shawn Minks took over as range master.
Benedict estimated there are about 30 neighborhood watch meetings each year.
“He comes in with his experience of investigating and solving crimes to people to help them avoid being victims,” Benedict said. “That’s the whole key of community policing … and he’s done a just a superb job at that.”
Pieper also volunteered to run citizens firearm safety classes.
“I don’t know how many citizens have gone through that and had their eyes open so wide as to what we do,” Benedict said. “We put them in the situations we face almost on a weekly basis.”
He has been a lead instructor in the county’s mass causality trainings, helped in planning the Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony each year and serves as a Patriot Guard Rider.
Benedict joked that among Pieper’s accomplishments was improving his skills at the gun range.
“I’m what is called an average shooter,” Benedict said. “I was a terrible, below average shooter until Randy got a hold of me. He at least got me up to average.”
Pieper, who now works part-time in evidence, said he’ll likely continue many of the roles he has had at the Sheriff’s Office.
He said he’ll continue with the citizens firearm safety classes and neighborhood watch meetings.
“They’re not going to let me go,” Pieper said, laughing.
Pieper said that with his extra time he hopes to get projects done around his home, catch up on chores and travel.
Pieper said the highlight of his career has been being able to help people when they are at the lowest points of their lives.
“I look forward to sticking around, traveling, riding my motorcycle, going on trips and still being being around in the community,” he said.
Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.