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Mville police commander Steve Winters retires
MARYSVILLE The Marysville Police Department said goodbye to one of its senior officers last week when commander Steve Winters retired. A veteran of more than 25 years with the department, Winters also served on the Marysville City Council from 1976 to 1980.
About 60 former and current coworkers from several law enforcement agencies attended the sendoff at the Marysville Public Library on Jan. 26, where Winters was remembered as good friend and vital component of the police department.
With friends like this Winters doesnt need enemies. They roasted the Arlington resident and Marysville native on a spit; drudging up old photos of Winters as a young man with a bare chest, strumming a guitar at a senior center and other cringe-inducing poses. Former police chiefs and City Council members were there to share their stories, all to Winters chagrin.
Retired officer Bob Lambert ran the gamut, recalling how Winters and former Marysville Police Chief Bob Carden ganged up on him to lose his comb-over at one time. But when Lambert was in the hospital he noted Winters was the one who went and fetched his wife.
Thats friendship: Steve has been there for me several times, Lambert said as he presented his colleague with a picture of an eagle. Friendship is something you give away and it never goes away because it keeps coming back. Steve is that way.
Carden made the 1,000-mile trip from his new department in Visalia, Calif., to rib the man he promoted from sergeant to commander when he took over the Marysville department eight years ago. Carden toured the room cracking jokes about the pictures of Winters through the years. Carden noted the one time he left town Winters was chief of police for a day, and when he called in Winters had taken the day off. On a serious note he said Winters was a loyal colleague.
John Turner is a former Marysville chief now serving an interim role as Cardens replacement is sought. He promoted Winters to sergeant in the 1980s.
The department was very small than and we didnt have much to choose from, Turner joked. One quality he admired in Winters was his ability to handle adversity.
If Winters was on the hot seat then, the room got real loud as he told the story of how he put a .45 slug though the floorboard of police car No. 913. Winters said the department had just made the switch to the automatic pistols when a coworker was having problems with his. When the hammer kept sticking Winters told him to hand it over and he would look at it.
Yes, I popped a round off in the car, but fortunately I still have my toes, Winters laughed. As he took a while calling out his friends and family around the room he turned serious for a second. My career has gone by quickly. I cant believe Im here.
Granite Falls resident A. J. Heldt was a reserve officer with Winters in the early 70s and brought an incriminating picture of them with their colleagues, wearing the white ascot scarves that were part of their uniforms.
We look like a bunch of snot-nosed kids, Heldt said as he and Winters looked at the photo.
Thats what we were, Winters laughed.
Hes been a good friend for 38 years, Heldt said, adding that they still ride motorcycles together. Hes a man who has control. Hes a mans man.
Arlington Police Chief John Gray noted his work with Winters over the years when he led the Lake Stevens department and attended the command school together, where they shared a room. In addition to a great sense of humor, Winters was a crucial part in making various agencies work well together.