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Edmonds police chief is now ready to retire

Al Compaan stepped in when needed, and served Edmonds for 41 years


Last updated 12/19/2019 at 8:31am

Funny how life turns out sometimes. Al Compaan can tell you stories.

Edmonds' police chief was about a year from retiring from the police force at age 53 when his career abruptly took a U-turn. Compaan was Edmonds' assistant police chief in April 2007 when David Stern – named chief in 2001 – died suddenly April 25, 2007, from a brain aneurysm.

Compaan and then-Mayor Gary Haakenson were by Stern's side at Harborview in Seattle when he died.

"I remember it clearly," Compaan said this week. "Gary said 'Al, you know, I need someone to lead and take charge of the department or at least do i...

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