Opinion

Thank you to the detectives | My Turn

In a world in which everyone seems to think almost everything is broken in some way or another, it’s good to find a piece of the world that still works as advertised.

For me, this rare working part I found in recent months is police detectives. On both a personal and professional level, I have reason to thank local detectives for the hard, ugly work they choose to do.

In late February, my friend David Peterson was murdered, leaving behind his lovely wife, Kim, and her son, the child he helped raise, Kenny. David was murdered because a 17-year-old kid named Byron White decided he wanted David’s cellphone. David actually successfully fought off White and kept possession of his cellphone, at which time David dialed 911 to report the attempted robbery. It was this move, according to White’s own confession, that led him to kill my friend.

A fatal crime like this in a city the size of Seattle will often go unsolved, but, thanks to Seattle Police Department detectives Cloyd Steiger and Jason Kasner, White was apprehended at SeaTac Airport, where he was attempting to board a flight to Atlanta. I had the honor of meeting them after White’s arraignment in March, and there weren’t enough thanks that I, Kimberly, or any of our other friends could give them. They were humble, saying it was their job, and also saying they were glad they could bring White to justice.

So, thank you detectives, for showing that something still works in this broken world.

Here in Federal Way, the community has Federal Way Police Department detective Jeff VanderVeer to thank for the eventual capture of Bernard Bellerouche, the prime suspect in the May homicide of DeMario Washington. VanderVeer, along with the help of the US Marshals service and the Kennewick Police Department, were able to locate and bring Bellerouche into custody. An allegedly dangerous man has been taken off the streets of this community I have the privilege of covering for work, and I am grateful for that.

These detectives, and their successful work, are an important reminder to me that there will always be a need for those proverbial “rough men and women” to stand watch over the rest of us.

Thank you detectives for the work you do  and the sacrifices you make, so that the rest of us are just a bit safer, and so that justice may hopefully be served when its time has come. You are a rare breed, and deserve a greater recognition than you often get. Hopefully this little bit will help correct that imbalance.

Thank you again, Detectives Steiger, Kasner and VandenVeer, from the bottom of my heart, and from the bottom of every other victim, direct or otherwise, who finds their life touched by violent tragedy.


 

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