Fallen SPD officers honored decades later

by: Henry Rosoff Updated:

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Seattle-- It was just not right.

That was the first thought Officer Mike Severance had when he realized two Seattle police officers killed serving the city were buried in unmarked graves.

“It’s duty, that’s the one word that would describe it, something that needed to be done,” Severance said.

Thomas Roberts was shot and killed by two suspects in 1898. Arthur Ruckart was shot and killed in 1914 while trying to track down a burglar.  Thursday, top members of the Seattle Police Department honored the men with two nice, new and  clearly marked graves at Lake View Cemetery.

“It’s respect we need to pay,” said new SPD Chief Kathleen O’Toole. “It’s respect to those of use who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice.”

O’Toole also singled out Severance for uncovering the unmarked graves.  Severance was the same officer who realized the department had 30 Medals of Honor meant to go to families of fallen officers, all sitting in storage for 15 years. The Retired Seattle Police Officers Association, Lake View Cemetery and an anonymous donor paid for Roberts and Ruckart to get proper headstones.

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