The face of Kent P.D. gives his final farewell

Paul Petersen stands between Kent Police volunteers Joanne Nelson

Paul Petersen stands between Kent Police volunteers Joanne Nelson

Paul Petersen became the face of Kent Police to some extent because of his appearances on Seattle television stations to talk about major crime incidents in the city that received news coverage.

But those duties and all other aspects of Petersen’s job as the Kent Police public information officer for the last 14 years are over. Petersen, 63, retired June 30 after 20 years in Kent.

“He was a solid contributor and a person who brings calm and a lack of panic,” said Lt. Bob Cline at a retirement party for Petersen June 30 at City Hall.

Cline talked about how well Petersen handled meetings to discuss potential scenario disasters.

“He had a very calm approach,” Cline said. “He always had a well thought-out response. I also don’t think we recognized all that he does. We will miss that.”

That’s not all Cline expects to miss about Petersen.

“I’ll miss that mustache and smile,” Cline said.

Petersen worked as a detective and on street patrol before he became the public information officer.

“The 20 years have gone by rather quickly,” Petersen said at his party. “When you enjoy yourself, time flies.”

Petersen credited the people at his party – his long-time coworkers and friends – for making his job easier.

In addition to providing information to the media, Petersen ran the Kent Police Citizens Academy, a 10-week course designed to educate residents about police work.

Petersen, who grew up in Northfield, Minn., has big plans for his first month or so of life after work.

“The first six weeks I’m going to stay very busy growing a beard,” he said.

Petersen, who lives in Kent with Silke Petersen, his wife of 39 years, plans to take a lot of trips.

“We’ll travel to see family and friends and just enjoy ourselves,” Petersen said.

Earlier this year, readers of the Kent Reporter’s Best of Kent contest voted Petersen as the best police officer.

Lt. Lisa Price has replaced Petersen as the public information officer. She has worked more than 22 years with the Kent Police and is in charge of recruiting, hiring, training and community education.

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