Flashback: Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum shows history of three cities that ceased to exist

SEATTLE METROPOLITAN POLICE MUSEUM -- Ever wonder why West Seattle is usually spelled as a proper name with an uppercase ‘W’ but not north or south Seattle? It's because West Seattle, along with a pair of other Seattle suburbs were once cities of their own. Officer Jim Ritter with the Seattle Metropolitan Police Museum has much more in tonight's ‘Flashback.’ "As Washington state's population continues to grow, new cities occasionally form and in turn create new law enforcement agencies to police the new jurisdictions.” “On some rare occasions over the last 120 years cities and their police departments cease to exist and disappeared from the annals of history. As Seattle began to experience a massive population growth following the gold rush of 1897, the city embarked on an aggressive effort to expand its boundaries by annexing a variety of areas including three existing cities that bordered its city limits. Those cities were Ballard, Georgetown, and West Seattle, all of which had their own police forces and stations. Following the annexations in the early part of the last century, these cities simply ceased to exist as did their police departments, causing many policemen to lose their jobs. One of these officers was 'Big Jake,' an enormous 7’0” Ballard policeman. Luckily for 'Big Jake' and others, many officers were hired by the Seattle Police Department and had long and successful careers.” “Although the City of Ballard and West Seattle`s police stations were torn down long ago, the historic Georgetown Police Station still stands as a tribute to our forgotten police forces of yesteryear.” “On a side note, I was lucky enough to be one of the last group of officers to work the old Georgetown station, which closed in 1983.” “And that`s the way it was. I`m Officer Jim Ritter and this is `Flashback.’” If you have questions about law enforcement history, email Ofc. Ritter at smpmuseum@aol.com To find out more about the museum, go to seametropolicemuseum.org