SEATTLE (4/2/12)--When Bob Harvey retired in July as CEO of the $567 million asset Seattle Metropolitan CU, he had no idea he'd be involved in arresting a woman suspected of robbing his former credit union.
Harvey hung up the suit and ties but kept the police uniform he'd worn in the Seattle Police Department's Reserve Unit since 1994, said the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) in its newsletter, Anthem (March 27).
On March 9, Harvey was asked to participate in a stakeout along a bus route in Auburn, Wash., to wait for two female suspects in a Key Bank robbery that afternoon.
One woman was also a suspect in a Feb. 28 robbery of a credit union in Seattle. When Harvey looked at the address of the credit union, he had a "Wait a minute" moment. The address was a branch of Seattle Metropolitan.
Soon the two suspects got off the bus and they were arrested without incident."They were cooperative but were very surprised we found them," he told NWCUA. He didn't tell them he had once run the credit union one would be charged with robbing. "When I'm in that uniform, I'm Officer Harvey," he explained.
He noted that executives, business owners and other successful people do well in police reserve programs, and said other credit union professionals could consider such a program as another way to give back to their communities.
The reserve program requires full Academy training--between six and eight months' worth--followed by frequent weekend training sessions. His fellow reserve officers include business owners, government employees and a senior executive officer of an airline. They are not paid with money; their payment is in the satisfaction of serving people.
While it's nice to catch the bad guys, Harvey explained the job is more about helping people, such as reuniting many lost children with panicked parents after games at the old Kingdome. He noted that a police department's heartbeat changes when a child is reported missing.
"It is amazing," he told NWCUA. "Everything else shuts down. No one goes home for the day. No one eats dinner. Everyone stays focused until the child is found."
Harvey said he read a lot of books about how to retire. Many plan for retirement financially and socially, but some are not mentally ready to retire. So he will keep being Officer Harvey for now.