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Tuesday, December 7, 1999 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Norm Stamper's Police Career

1944: Norman Stamper is born in San Diego, Calif.

1966: Stamper joins the San Diego Police Department.

1971: Stamper becomes San Diego's youngest lieutenant at 27 years old.

1972: As a police lieutenant in San Diego, Stamper shoots and kills a man who was threatening a 3-year-old child.

1975: Stamper becomes the San Diego Police Department's youngest captain at 31 years old.

February 1994: Stamper becomes Seattle police chief, succeeding Patrick Fitzsimons.

June 1994: Stamper marches in uniform during Seattle gay-pride parade, drawing criticism because other police officers were prohibited from participating in their uniforms in a Christian-related event.

February 1995: After a year on the job, Stamper restructures the department into six central areas, including the formation of three new bureaus. Stamper said that, in part, the changes are being made to allow quicker responses.

February 1998: Stamper criticized for police staffing and heavy overtime. Some officers claim the situation jeopardizes their safety.

April 1998: Stamper cuts short a vacation to try to calm a department angry about a newspaper column in which he describes his experience in a racist and intolerant "cop culture" while working as a San Diego officer. Stamper was quoted as saying he "enjoyed the morbid humor, the racist humor and the gay bashing" during his early years. Stamper was also quoted saying there since has been a fundamental change in police culture, and that his own early outlook in no way reflects his views today.

March 1999: Allegations come to light that veteran homicide Detective Earl "Sonny" Davis Jr. pocketed $10,000 in cash taken from a sewing cabinet while he and other detectives were investigating the fatal shooting of an elderly man who had barricaded himself in a South Seattle apartment and wounded an officer. Davis returned the money to the cabinet the next day with the help of Sgt. Don Cameron, but only after Davis' then-partner, Cloyd Steiger, angrily confronted the two men, according to Steiger.

June 1999: Stamper and the department come under fire after the department's uninvited - and unwanted - videotaping of a news conference during which community, civil-rights and church groups announced that a public hearing would be held to address claims of police abuses, mainly against members of minority groups. Stamper later apologized, saying the police cameraman was wrong not to identify himself and announce his intentions.

August 1999: A citizen-review panel looking into alleged theft of $10,000 from a crime scene issues stinging criticism of Stamper, saying the chief has become disconnected from the daily operation of his department, leading to serious breakdowns in internal investigations.

Nov. 3, 1999: Stamper supervises a police dragnet sweeping through a Wallingford neighborhood after a gunman kills two men and wounds two others at a Lake Union Shipyard. The assailant eludes police.

Dec. 5, 1999: Stamper and Seattle Mayor Paul Schell are caught in the middle of growing criticism over their handling of the World Trade Organization riots. Protesters allege police violence; officers claim they were ill-prepared.

Dec. 6, 1999: In a letter to Mayor Paul Schell, Stamper announces he is retiring effective at the end of March.

Copyright (c) 1999 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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