We are saddened to report the passing of former Tukwila Police Sergeant Jerry Kelleher (badge #4) at the age of 78 after battling a long-term illness.
Jerry was a founding member of Tukwila PD having started in 1965 at a time when there was only a Chief of Police and one or two full-time officers for what was at the time a quiet farming community. With the opening of the Southcenter Mall in 1968 and influx of new businesses and residents, the department began to grow. Jerry was a mentor and Field Training Officer (FTO) to many members of the department that were hired in the early 70s.
Jerry was quickly promoted to Sergeant shortly after the department began to grow in the early 70s. He was named the supervisor of the newly formed detective unit that was created by then Chief of Police John Sheets to investigate the rising crimes that were occurring.
After work, Jerry furthered his education and complete 2 ½ years of college in the field of Police Science.
In 1977, Jerry and his family moved from Renton to Buckley, WA. Jerry continued to work for us while the family started a small dairy operation. In 1979, Jerry left Tukwila PD and moved his family to Troutlake, WA. where they started and worked on a larger dairy operation until 1986.
In 1986, Jerry relocated his family to Vale, OR. Jerry was hired by Malheur County Sheriff’s Office under Sheriff Bob Ingram and remained there until 1989 when he was hired by the City of Vale as The Chief of Police . Jerry remained in that position until the city closed the Police Department in Jan of 2002. He was the 2nd longest term Chief of Police in the history of the Vale Police Department.