Patrick Robinson
Captain Joseph Kessler was celebrated by his staff and friends at a going away party held in his honor Wed. Sep. 29. He was given a cake with the logo for the Southwest Precinct that bears a legend Kessler himself came up with. In latin it reads Is est totus super reprehendo scelesctus which means, "Go get the bad guys"

Capt. Kessler celebrated as he leaves the S.W. Precinct

A going-away party was held for outgoing commander Cpt. Joe Kessler at the Southwest Precinct shortly before noon on Sept. 29.


An army of officers, lieutenants and office employees joined in the community room to share their appreciation for Kessler’s leadership over the past two and a half years. They also came for a cake from Boracchini’s Bakery that read, “Thanks for your passion and dedication to the Southwest Precinct.”

Kessler is taking over as commander for the West Precinct and Cpt. Steve Paulsen will take his place in West Seattle.

“I’m looking forward in some respects to going back downtown as it’s been a long time since I worked there,” Kessler said, “but I will say that in my 21 years as a supervisor in this department this really has been the best assignment I’ve had.”

The precinct pooled their resources and had a custom Southwest Precinct Commander polo shirt made for Kessler to remember his time here.

“This truly is a great team,” he said. “Everyone says it’s the best kept secret in the department but trust me guys, it’s not a secret. There’s a reason why when I look at the wish list of guys wanting to transfer the list of those wanting to transfer to southwest is this long (arms extend as if a fish-tale is being told) and everywhere else is this long (the hands come together).”

“I’m hoping we can bring a little touch of the Southwest to the precinct downtown,” he added.

Kessler then looked down at the precinct pin on his uniform that displays the SW Precinct logo.

“One thing I am going to miss is our logo out here,” he said. “I think this is going to have to stay on for a little while.”

The logo has a Latin slogan invented by Cpt. Kessler that roughly translates to, “It’s all about catching the bad guy,” according to Operations Lieutenant Norm James.

“He is just the best guy to work for,” Lieutenant Ronald Rasmussen said of his time working for Kessler. He added that Cpt. Paulsen was the ideal replacement since he knows the West Seattle community so well and knows of his character personally as they were partners a long time ago in Ballard.

“Turning the rings over to (Paulsen) is one of the proudest and nicest things that could happen,” Kessler said of the new captain.

“You are getting the best,” Kessler said in a prior interview. “He knows what’s going on, he knows what the issues are and I can’t think of a better pick to be the precinct commander.”

“I did hear as I was walking out this morning, ‘Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.’ I think that might have been Captain Paulsen,” Kessler joked as the room broke into laughter.

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