A nighthawk for Monroe’s streets
Acclaimed for his patrol work, Officer Robertson reminds
others to put kindness first
Nathan Blackwell photo
Officer Craig Robertson, seen here at the start of his shift for Wednesday, May 29, won Officer of the Year honors for his patrol work to halt impaired drivers.
MONROE — Police officer Craig Robertson has written the most DUI and traffic tickets in his department over the last year, which helped him win law enforcement accolades. But he says it is the countless hand waves and thousands of stickers he’s handed out to kids as part of his favorite activities.
Robertson made 37 DUI arrests in 2018 and was named the Officer of the Year by both his city’s department
and the Snohomish County DUI and Target Zero Task Force.
He believes that being observant and paying attention to the details is the most
important part of what he does. “I normally keep my windows down so I can listen and hear everything out there. I watch people when they’re driving past me. I look for cell phone use, for people that cross yellow lines... I pay attention,” he said.
Sergeant Paul Ryan said that Robertson’s DUI arrests made up almost 50 percent of the department’s 77 total in 2018 and more than either of the two years previous. Ryan said he also appreciates the fact Robertson has also been acting as a field training officer for new hires.
“Beyond just his own significant accomplishment, personally I think it’s safe to say that he actually yielded a pretty profound influence across our department to increase our traffic safety efforts,” Ryan said.
Stacey McShane manages the task force through the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office and says that when she makes her selections, she is looking for officers that are well rounded and have a long term dedication to the program.
“Finding somebody like Craig who is willing and wants to work these emphasis patrols, and has made traffic safety a priority for their departments, are important to us at the task force because we rely on these officers to teach the others” and help cut down impaired driving, McShane said.
Robertson has close to 20 years’ experience in law enforcement and has been with the Monroe Police Department since October 2015.
Robertson helps manage the traffic safety emphasis program for his department in coordination with the Target Zero Task Force, whose goal is to reduce traffic fatalities statewide. Monroe has seen five crashes resulting in serious injuries since 2018. He is currently working with them on a pedestrian safety grant for the city.
Robertson emphasizes that he is not just a police officer but a community member as well. It’s important to him to treat other people like he would want to be treated. “When I go to Lake Tye Park and I jump out and play basketball with the kids in uniform, that’s a positive. I love that stuff,” he said. “I know I get sweaty and it gets hot, but they love it and it does wonders for the community out there.”
He believes that his success is in his approach. “I don’t talk down to people. I am not rude to them. I do not treat them unfairly,” he said. “I am very open and honest with people in my intentions and what is going to happen, and I will shake their hand and send them on their way.”
He said that as a field training officer he teaches the importance of communication and a community-minded approach to policing.
“One of my No. 1 things that I teach the new officers that come out of the academy is kindness” he said. “Learn kindness and it really truly gets you a long way in law enforcement.”
He lets the younger officers know that while there is a time and a place for raised voices and ramped up intensity, that is not the majority of what law enforcement does.
He also serves occasionally as an acting sergeant on some of his shifts. The role involves supervising four to five other officers. Officer Devin Tucker works nights with Robertson’s squad and said that he appreciates his willingness to listen.
“He will take a step back and go, ‘Hey you know better about this, lead me,’ and I think that’s an incredible dynamic for any leader to have,” said Tucker. “For him it’s about the overall success of the team and in the end the overall safety and security of our town.”
Off-duty, Robertson spends most of his time with his wife of 22 years, Lisa, who is also in law enforcement, and their three sons. He takes their boat out on the water as often as possible and said the family enjoys Monroe and doesn’t plan on leaving.
His true happiness would be as a patrol sergeant. “So exactly what I’m doing now but an actual sergeant, that’s my goal,” Robertson said. “I would love to just work that for the next 15 years. I don’t need to be at an office at a desk, I like to work and be out here in the community.”
Check out our online Publications!
Best seen in the Firefox or Chrome Browsers