End of an era for longest tenured Hoquiam cop

More than 33 years after Hoquiam Police Department Sgt. Shane Krohn’s career as a police officer for the city of Hoquiam began, the former police sergeant is turning in his badge.

His last shift for HPD ended on Monday morning, Aug. 22. It ended the longest police officer tenure in the history of the department, according to Chief Joe Strong.

Krohn’s not done serving the community he’s worked for since March 1, 1989. He’s already started as athletic director for Hoquiam School District.

Strong announced Krohn’s retirement to city staff and the Hoquiam City Council on Monday night inside city council chambers.

Krohn’s wife, Jen Krohn, spoke about her husband’s retirement from the police department outside the council chambers.

“I’m very proud,” Jen Krohn said about her husband. “He’s our family’s hero.”

Jen Krohn said their three daughters — Karlie, Kamryn, and Jancin — couldn’t be more proud of their dad.

“They back the blue 100 percent,” Jen Krohn said. “Everyone in Shane’s unit is part of our family.”

Jen Krohn said her husband’s decision to retire was not an easy one to make. But, like throughout their 29-year marriage, she supported his decision.

“It was extremely hard, but after (almost) 34 years of shift work, he needed something different,” Jen Krohn said. “(Almost) 34 years of shift work is hard.”

It sounds like Shane Krohn’s switch to athletic director will not be as hard as it would be for some. His wife said helping children is where the now-retired police sergeant shines.

“When he was a D.A.R.E. officer, or when he (would) get a call, that’s when he was at his best. He just loves to help youth. He’s all about youth.”

Shane Krohn is part of a long line of Hoquiam Grizzlies in prominent positions. Two of his daughters, Karlie and Kamryn, played for a combined eight years at Hoquiam High School. They each also played three sports. Now Shane, who graduated from Hoquiam High School, will be the Grizzly sports star. He sounded excited about his new opportunity.

“When the superintendent (Mike Villarreal) offered me the job, he said it’s clear that I bleed crimson and gray,” Krohn said.

Before Krohn started serving as a police officer, he was a reserve officer for three years.

After serving patrol for a little more than a year, he served as a D.A.R.E. officer for HPD. He worked collaboratively with Hoquiam School District.

“He built the D.A.R.E. program to the strongest in the state,” Strong said. “He was recognized in the year 2000 as Washington State’s D.A.R.E. Officer of the Year.”

There seemed to be no end in sight to how Krohn impacted Hoquiam’s police force, which includes the Aberdeen Critical Response Unit, HPD’s evidence supervisor, fire investigator, fire arms instructor, detective, and one who took lead for HPD’s investigations division.

“He stepped right in and completed several felony investigations, as well as all the background checks we are doing today,” Strong said.

Krohn is also versed in dealing with “high-profile” incidents in the last 10-15 years.

“He’s one of the first calls you make when we’re having a major incident within the city of Hoquiam,” Strong said. “He’s done homicides, he’s done robberies, the horrible child abuse investigations. He’s just that guy that you call.”

Strong said he’s “very, very proud,” of how Krohn completely changed the entire operation of the investigations’ division around. Strong is certain the retired sergeant will give his all at his next gig, too.

After wishing Shane Krohn well, Strong turned to Jen Krohn to thank her.

“Jen, I want to thank you for giving us your husband for the last couple decades,” Strong said. “I know it’s sometimes difficult. We miss a lot of events. I know you were the rock behind his work at Hoquiam PD.”

Retired Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers said Shane Krohn served a “pivotal” role in the department.

“As Joe (Strong) said, he really made a huge difference,” said Myers.

Myers also sent his regards to Shane Krohn, and how the retired police sergeant helped with the city’s drug take back program

“I want to personally thank him for taking on our huge challenge of our drug take back box program,” Myers said. “We were the first agency in the county to initiate the drug take back. That burden fell on Shane.”

Myers poked fun of how meticulous Shane Krohn was with the phrase “Krohn-ological order,” which made people laugh. But that little dig at the retired police sergeant also quickly turned into a sincere compliment.

“In all seriousness, his tenacity, attention to detail and his dedication to seeking the truth made him an outstanding detective,” Myers said. “It (was) an honor to work with him.”

Shane Krohn then took the lectern, where he was effusive in his love for his hometown.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure and honor to serve the citizens of Hoquiam,” he said. “Obviously born and raised here, graduated from Hoquiam (High) I love the city. I’m gonna continue serving the city, but in a different manner.”

The retired police sergeant said he didn’t think he’d have the chance to serve in his new capacity as athletic director.

“Quite honestly, if you had asked me a month ago, I would never had said ‘athletic director,’” Shane Krohn said. “It just wasn’t a thought, and then it happened. I certainly didn’t want to break in another chief. ‘No offense, Joe.’”

According to Shane Krohn’s count, he’s served under six chiefs.

“Obviously (retired) Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers has been amazing, and he’s given me many amazing opportunities over the years,” Shane Krohn said. “He’s definitely made me better at what I do.”

And then he thanked his family.

“I can’t say enough about my family,” Shane Krohn said. “They definitely had to suffer from time to time when I wasn’t available, when I got called out, and called away, and worked holidays,” he said. “Of course these last few years, when you have the seniority you get first pick, right?”

While he shared his passion for working major crime cases, he also loved working with the D.A.R.E. program. The work with D.A.R.E. seems to have led to his next chapter.

“Obviously, when I taught the D.A.R.E. program, that was one of the huge things in my life,” Shane Krohn said. “I enjoyed working in the schools. (Former Hoquiam) Mayor Phyllis Shrauger, who was also a school teacher at the time, she would come speak at my D.A.R.E. graduations, and she’d say, ‘If you ever decide to do something else, be a teacher.’ That kind of stuck in the back of my head.”