Wednesday afternoon, friends, loved ones, and fellow officers will gather at the Seattle Academy gymnasium to remember Detective Bob Peth. Peth died earlier this month following a three-year battle with colon cancer. He was about to turn 46.
The veteran officer and Capitol Hill resident was well known in the East Precinct’s various nightlife communities:
He took the lessons of his farming childhood – self-reliance, herd management, and the ability to drive (and fix) almost anything – with him when he joined the Seattle Police Department in 1999 as a sworn officer, becoming somewhat legendary for his smile, hard work, laughter, jokes, sarcasm, fairness, and care for his community. He gradually moved upward to a chair with a desk and two computers, although he frequently threatened to go back to his first love, patrol. He won two awards for Excellence in Policing, the latest for developing and heading the Joint Assessment Team, where Detective Peth was the Department’s “go to person” for any and all issues dealing with liquor licenses, nightlife (bars and clubs), all-age dances, and raves.
He also served his city with pride:
Bob’s confidence and certainty in who he was made room for adjustment in the SPDs treatment of all gay officers; he filmed a segment for “It Gets Better;” and he got married on December 9, 2012, when Seattle City Hall first opened the doors for marriage equality. He was resplendent in his full dress uniform. He is survived by his husband Aaron Fletcher of Seattle.
Thanks to Aaron for sharing the picture of himself and Bob, above.
You can learn more about Peth in the obituary posted to his blog. You should also, eventually, get a colonoscopy, the obituary reminds.
UPDATE 5/22/14: Seattle Mayor Ed Murray released a statement on Peth’s passing and included a picture of the “Just Married” SPD cruiser:
“I would like to send my heartfelt condolences to the many, many people who knew and loved Seattle Police Department Detective Bob Peth, who we tragically lost to cancer earlier this month. With his undeniable warmth, relatability, and leadership, Bob single-handedly changed the way Seattle Police interacted with the city’s nightlife business community. He lead the development of the pivotal Joint Assessment Team, which sought to establish a more collaborative approach to problem-solving common nightlife concerns. His efforts made him a trusted source within SPD and throughout the community. For all of his dedicated hard work, which he made look effortless, Bob was twice presented the award for Excellence in Policing. As an openly gay officer, he was also a role model for our community. He participated in the ‘It Gets Better’ online video campaign, which sought to give hope to struggling LGBTQ youth. On the first day that Seattle recognized full marriage equality, Bob married his then-partner Aaron Fletcher. The two later rode in the Seattle Pride Parade in a patrol car proudly marked ‘Just Married.’”