Retiring Sequim Police Chief Bill Dickinson is serenaded by the Seattle Police Pipes & Drums group. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Retiring Sequim Police Chief Bill Dickinson is serenaded by the Seattle Police Pipes & Drums group. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Sequim’s police chief honored after 45 years in law enforcement

By Matthew Nash

Olympic Peninsula News Group

SEQUIM — Family, friends, colleagues and community members came together to celebrate Sequim Police Chief William “Bill” Dickinson’s retirement after 45 years in law enforcement.

More than 50 people packed into the Sequim Transit Center on Thursday for a reception for the retiring chief. Among them was the Seattle Police Pipes &Drums group, of which Dickinson, 66, is a member.

Dickinson is retiring Dec. 15, but Thursday was his last day on the job. He is taking vacation time now until the date of his retirement.

Deputy Police Chief Sheri Crain is serving as acting chief, said City Manager Charlie Bush.

An announcement about the process of replacing Dickinson will be made next week, Bush said.

Bush commended Dickinson’s achievements since he was hired in 2010. Among them was that he was instrumental in the campaign in which voters approved a public safety tax that helped fund the police portion of the Sequim Civic Center project.

After the 2015 completion of the Sequim Civic Center and Sequim Police Department at 152 W. Cedar St., Dickinson and staff members pursued accreditation by the Washington Association of Sheriffs &Police Chiefs, which provides a review process for agencies to be certified as operating under industry best practices and standards.

“We’ve never been able to pursue it because we didn’t have a competent facility,” Dickinson said then.

Accreditation was announced Nov. 16. Sequim is now one of 63 state-accredited police departments of more than 300 law enforcement agencies in Washington.

Bush said Dickinson left the city better than he found it.

“I always felt we had a class act here, but he came in here and proved it to us,” Crain said.

Dickinson told the crowd that going through the retirement process has been difficult but he’s been blown away by the support.

“You’ve brought a lot to the job, making it a lot easier,” he said.

Dickinson was presented several items, including Washington state and city of Sequim flags from the day he played bagpipes last year for the grand opening of the Sequim Civic Center.

Dickinson said he chose to retire in December, 45 years after he was commissioned into the police force in Cle Elum.

He and his wife, Betty, plan to retire to Cle Elum in Kittitas County. They also have a residence on the San Juan Islands. Together, they have two sons and one grandchild.

In retirement, there are a lot of things he hopes to do, Dickinson said, but he’s held a job since he was 12 and hopes not to get bored because “then I’ll have to go look for a job again.”

Dickinson has served 23 years as a police chief in SeaTac; Burien; Tigard, Ore.; and Sequim. He also worked in other small police departments and with the King County Sheriff’s Office.

Prior to Sequim, he worked as a fraud investigator for the state Department of Labor &Industries.

________

Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at mnash@sequimgazette.com.

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