Seattle police officer's arrest in drug sting stuns south Seattle activist

by: Deborah Horne Updated:

SEATTLE - A South Seattle community is in shock Sunday night over the arrest of a well-regarded Seattle Police officer.

"Alex is a kind guy," Mariana Quarnstrom, a longtime South Seattle activist, said. "I've never seen him get gruff. So you know it's really foreign to me."

That is how Quarnstrom describes her reaction when KIRO 7 told her that Seattle police officer Alex Chapackdee was caught Saturday in a drug sting.

"I don't know," Quarnstrom said.  "If you have given me all kinds of names, I never would have picked Alex."

Quarnstrom got to know Chapackdee when she was president of the South Seattle Crime Prevention Council. Chapackdee graduated from Rainier Beach High school in 1991.  He was assigned to the South Precinct, then left for a time. 

When he returned, the 44-year-old officer was a member of the precinct's highly regarded Community Police Team. 

"It's a special job," Quarnstrom said. "You know, you have to interact a lot with community.  You have to do a whole lot of stuff like that. I really don't think he would have made the team if anybody had any idea."

According to the Seattle police blotter, Chapackdee was arrested as part a narcotics operation by Seattle police, the FBI, the DEA and Homeland Security.   He was immediately placed on unpaid administrative leave.  Quarnstrom says Chapackdee was especially good with young people.

"A lot of times we hear if there's somebody if it's not doing their job properly," Quarnstrom said.  "I never heard any complaints about Alex." 

The officer is being held in federal detention in SeaTac.  

More about the case should be revealed Monday.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office confirmed he will make his first appearance in U.S. District Court at 2 p.m. Monday.