Hoquiam Police Honors Deputy Chief Don Wertanen On His Retirement

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At the City Council meeting last night, the department and the city honored Deputy Chief Don Wertanen for his over 32-years of service to Hoquiam as a peace officer.

DC Wertanen is retiring at the end of this month, March 31, 2019. He will leave some large shoes to fill.

The following proclamation was entered for DC Wertanen at the meeting:

HEREAS, Deputy Chief Don Wertanen commenced his many years of service to the City of Hoquiam when he was commissioned as a sworn peace officer for the Hoquiam Police Department on January 15, 1987; and

WHEREAS, before moving back to Grays Harbor, Deputy Chief Wertanen served with the United States Navy for four years as a Beach Master; and

WHEREAS, in his over 32-years of service to the City of Hoquiam, Deputy Chief Wertanen held several positions within the department, including reserve officer, temporary animal control officer, patrol officer, canine handler, field training officer, arson investigator, detective and patrol sergeant; and

WHEREAS, in 2004 Don Wertanen and Brian Dayton demonstrated their bravery in the face of personal danger by pursuing and apprehending an armed robbery suspect on foot who shot at them as they approached; and

WHEREAS, Don Wertanen was promoted from sergeant to deputy chief by Chief Jeff Myers on January 2, 2012; and

WHEREAS, Deputy Chief Wertanen was highly respected both inside and outside of the department for his direct, steadfast, unflappable example of professional law enforcement, loyalty to the department and service to the citizens of this community; and

WHEREAS, Deputy Chief Wertanen was recognized for his dedicated police work with several awards, including being honored as The Daily World’s Officer of the Year in 2005; and

WHEREAS, since Deputy Chief Wertanen is a man of few words and prefers to instead give you the “The Don-Look”; does not like to be called “Dude”; and we all understand he never wanted to be publically recognized or praised for his work;

NOW THEREFORE, with the retirement of Deputy Chief Wertanen on March 31, 2019, and despite his wish to retire without fanfare, the Mayor and the City Council of the City of Hoquiam, Washington, do hereby recognize and honor Deputy Chief Wertanen and proclaim their gratitude for his over 32-years of dedicated service to the Citizens of the City of Hoquiam.

Adopted by the Mayor and City Council on March 25, 2019.




In addition to the proclamation, we presented Deputy Chief Wertanen with a plaque bearing his badge at the top and outlining all the years of service and positions he has held in the department.

In accordance with our Mission Statement, it also recognized: “Your dedication, loyalty, and hard work as a peace officer helped to make Hoquiam stronger and safer for all.”

We hope Deputy Chief Wertanen will remain a volunteer with the department on our arson investigation team. We wish him the best in his retirement and hope he will now actually have the time to get his boat out and DO SOME FISHING! You have earned it!

JEFF MYERS, Chief of Police