TPD Officers and their families celebrate with Santa and Mrs. Claus

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News

The mission of the Tulalip Police Department is solely based on service to Tulalip’s 2,700 or so citizens who live on the Reservation and the even higher number of non-Tulalips who make up the greater on-Reservation community. The office of the Chief of Police and his many supporting staff considers it their duty and privilege to protect all citizens living within the 22,000-acre sovereign nation that is Tulalip from crime, but also to protect and defend the rights guaranteed under the Tulalip Tribes Constitution.

For all that they do for Tulalip, the entire police department was invited to partake in a special holiday celebration with their families on December 6th in the Orca Ballroom.  

“A huge thank for all the work you do on behalf of this Tribe,” said Chairwoman Teri Gobin. “You each play a critical role in keeping our people safe. We’ve come a long way over the past few decades. As our membership has grown, our business ventures have grown, and our police force has grown. I want to let each and every one of you know that you are valued and appreciated.”

“Like Madam Chair said, I want to thank all of you for being here tonight and allowing us to celebrate you,” added Vice-Chairwoman Misty Napeahi. “We know how much your families have to sacrifice because of your commitment to keep our community safe. This means working the weekends and holidays, missing your children’s game days and award ceremonies, and other special family moments so that you can fulfill your duty to protect and serve Tulalip. My hands go up to every single family member in this room because its through your support that our officers can truly thrive.”

For the officers and support staff who brought their kids along, they were greeted by guest appearances by Santa and Mrs. Claus. Children screeched with glee to chat, hug, and take a keepsake photo with their Christmas icons. 

While filling their bellies with an assortment of eats from the 4-Diamond catered buffet, officers enjoyed a rare night off to relax with their families and speak casually with Board of Directors Teri, Misty, and Mel Sheldon as they made their rounds to each table. 

As the evening celebration concluded, Chief Sutter reflected, “This was really a great night for all our unsung heroes. They were able to enjoy the moment with their families. For me, seeing officers laugh and smile with their kids while taking picture with Santa and Mrs. Clause was so cool. Our professional often keeps us from having the time to create these special moments, so it really was amazing to see the simple joys of family and friends having light-hearted fun together.”