by Jack Mayne
Jim Graddon, chief of the SeaTac Police Department and a major in the King County Sheriff’s office, plans to retire later this year.
“After nine years of service to the City of SeaTac, the last six as your Chief of Police, I have decided to retire at the end of April of this year,” Graddon wrote in a letter to SeaTac City Manager Todd Cutts.
“I have had remarkable fortune over my 39 years in Law Enforcement, the last 34 with the Sheriff’s Office. And I am humbled to have been able to serve so much of that time in the communities where I and my wife were born and raised. Few people have that opportunity.”
He said he “long ago” told then Division Chief (later sheriff) Sue Rahr that he “would truly love to end my career in my present position. I get to fulfill that dream.
Graddon said he “could not have greater admiration for what we have accomplished as a city.”
The future, he said, holds more good things and he said he would miss being part of that, “But I will tell you that the hardest part of leaving will be stepping away from a management team and staff for whom I have such great respect. I have been afforded opportunities here that I could not have imagined when I took this position. This was only possible due to the dedicated people, the teams that work here every day under your guidance to serve our citizens.”
He said he felt he had the “strongest support” form Cutts and other SeaTac city leaders.
“I remain fully committed to my work here over the next 3 months, and to a smooth transition of this office with the person who follows,” he said in conclusion.
“Of course I could not be happier for Jim and his wife, but frankly I was devastated otherwise!” said King County Sheriff John Urquhart. “He is a good friend and has been such an asset to SeaTac and the Sheriff’s Office for so many years. Jim’s patience, knowledge, and overall good humor will not be easily replaced. I know the decision to retire was a tough one, and everyone at the Sheriff’s Office wishes him the very best.”
City Manager Todd Cutts added:
“It was with mixed emotions that I accepted Chief Graddon’s notice of retirement. I am thrilled for Jim personally as he enters the next chapter of his life, able to devote more of his time to his family, friends and outside interests. His retirement is well deserved. He will certainly be missed at the City of SeaTac. His blend of leadership, professionalism, commitment and compassion brought an exemplary level of service to the SeaTac community. Having been born and raised in the Highline area, he has a keen grasp of the complexities we face from both a law enforcement and a community building perspective. While I’m certain Jim’s successor will continue his commitment to service, the SeaTac community and the City of SeaTac family will miss him.”