Lifestyle & Human Interest

Watch: Chief Deputy Gives Emotional Final Call After Nearly 40 Years of Service


Signing off for the final time is an emotional part of a law enforcement officer’s career. It marks the end of their service, brings a close to their job and signals the beginning of a new stage of life.

Spending decades serving your community is a noble and rewarding, but exhausting endeavor. Even the most controlled men and women have a hard time not getting a little misty-eyed during their final call.

In mid-December, the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office shared a statement on Facebook concerning the retirement of one of their own, Chief Deputy Dave Pearsall of Olympia, Washington.

“Chief Dave Pearsall will retire from the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office at the end of the year,” the document read.

“Pearsall began his career with the Sheriff’s Office volunteering as an Explorer Scout in 1982 at the age of 18.

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“He went on to become a Reserve Deputy Sheriff. Pearsall then worked 1 year for the City of Yelm as a Police Officer prior to being hired as a Deputy Sheriff in March of 1986.”

Pearsall followed in his father’s footsteps, as his father was also a deputy sheriff in both Mason and Grays Harbor counties. Beginning at such a young age, Pearsall ended up putting in over 36 years.

“Chief Pearsall worked his way through the ranks performing a multitude of assignments along the way,” the statement continued.

“During his career Pearsall has worked for four Sheriffs. He has worked the last 14 years as a Chief Deputy appointed first by Sheriff Kimball and again by Sheriff Snaza. Chief Pearsall is a 2014 graduate of the FBI National Academy.”

“It has been an awesome career,” Pearsall said. “I truly feel blessed to have had the privilege to serve the citizens of Thurston County for so many years.”

“In keeping with a longtime law enforcement tradition, Chief Pearsall will ‘sign-out’ making his final radio transmission to dispatch from his patrol car at 3:00 PM on December 31st when he tells TCOMM that he is at the ‘End of Watch’ officially signifying his retirement,” the statement continued.

When the time came for him to make his final call, Pearsall was sitting in his vehicle, a grandson next to him and a grandson on his lap as he radioed in.

His message was short and sweet.

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“I’ll be out of service. End of watch. It’s been a great ride.”

“On 12/31/20, Chief Dave Pearsall called out of service for the last time,” the Sheriff’s office shared on Facebook, along with the video. “Thank you for serving this community for over 36 years.”

Far from being done with service or his community, Pearsall has plans to continue participating in a variety of groups, including the Griffin Fire Department (where he is a fire commissioner), the Chaplains Association for Public Safety in Thurston County, the Oregon Washington Lawmen’s Association and the FBI National Academy Association.

“Happy retirement Chief Pearsall!” his wife, Deana Pearsall, posted on her Facebook page. “So proud of you.”

He looks forward — as many do in their golden years — to spending more time traveling and (of course!) enjoying more time with his grandkids.

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