He may be only 5 years old, but “Officer Sam,” sworn in Wednesday as Edmonds’ newest police officer, didn’t waste any time apprehending his first criminal and winning high praise from Chief Al Compaan.
“He’s set the bar pretty high for the rest of the department,” Compaan said. “We could sure use more like him.”
Officer Sam is Samuel K. Colquhoun, who came to the attention of Edmonds K-9 Officer Jason Robinson through mutual acquaintances. Diagnosed last Christmas Eve with a non-malignant brain stem tumor, the Kenmore boy has had a rough year of surgery and chemotherapy. These treatments have taken a toll, sapping his energy to where he tires quickly, and sometimes has trouble keeping up. But through it all, his overarching interest in police work, tracking down bad guys and absolutely anything that involves K-9 dogs has kept his spirits up.
So earlier this month, Robinson packed up K-9 Officer Hobbs and dropped by Sam’s home for a visit.
“I brought along a kid-size police uniform, one of our commemorative stuffed K-9 dogs and a hat for him,” said Robinson, “and you should have seen his eyes light up.”
And according to Sam’s mom Molly, Robinson’s visit set off some significant changes for Sam. “For almost a year he just couldn’t climb the stairs in the house,” she said. “But he puts on that police shirt, and it’s like he has wings on his feet. It’s almost like he’s a different kid. We tell police stories every night, and his constant companion is that plush K-9 dog.”
And what did he name it? “Why Edmonds, of course!” Molly replied.
After the visit, Robinson approached Compaan and suggested that the police department do something special for Sam. “Let’s make him an officer!” said Compaan.
And so it happened.
Sam arrived for his swearing in as an official Edmonds police officer on Wednesday afternoon, and the department turned out in force, packing the multi-purpose room to witness the ceremony officiated by Chief Al Compaan.
No sooner had the oath been administered and the papers signed than Sam was given his first assignment: to find and apprehend the notorious Edmonds Bakery doughnut burglar, “Sprinkles” McClure. Sam went right to work, following clues and footprints that eventually led him to the dastardly McClure lurking behind some shrubbery just outside the building. Sam immediately turned loose K-9 Officer Hobbs, who took Sprinkles to the ground and held him until Sam could secure the handcuffs and march McClure off to a holding cell.
“Amazing police work,” exclaimed Chief Compaan, as he congratulated Sam on his quick and skilled efforts. “Fast, accurate and effective. You’re coming back tomorrow, right?”
“It was easy,” remarked Sam. “I hope you put him away for a long time!”
Retiring to the multi-purpose room for refreshments — doughnuts, naturally — a beaming Sam was joined by a crowd of officers, parents and well-wishers. And it was hard for those in the room to not get a bit emotional seeing the joy in Sam’s eyes, and realizing how special this day has been for him.
“It’s been a very challenging year for our family,” said Sam’s mom Molly, fighting back the tears. “I hardly know what to say, or how to thank Officer Robinson, Chief Compaan and rest of the Edmonds Police Department. This is the best Christmas present ever.”
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel