Hoquiam Deputy Police Chief Don Wertanen is retiring this week.
On Monday night, the Hoquiam City Council recognized the Deputy Chief for his 32 years with the department.
In a proclamation, Mayor Dickhoff highlighted the fact that Wertanen joined HPD on January 15, 1987 after serving with the United States Navy for four years, training as a Beachmaster.
In his over 32-years of services, Wertanen was noted as holding several positions, including reserve officer, temporary animal control officer, patrol officer, and in 2012 being promoted from sergeant to Deputy Chief by Chief Jeff Myers.
His bravery was also highlighted, including a 2004 instance when he and Sergeant Brian Dayton pursued and apprehended an armed robbery suspect who had shot at them as they approached.
Wertanen was noted as being a “direct, steadfast, unflappable example of professional law enforcement”.
The proclamation stated that Wertanen was a man of few words, and following the reading this was noted as the Deputy Chief appeared to hold back tears when he gave his brief statement to the COuncil and audience, including numerous fellow law enforcement and community members, simply saying “It’s been great.”
Wertanen is set to retire March 31.