The following was submitted by Shannon Sessions, public information officer for the Lynnwood Police Department.
Lynnwood Police Reserve Officer Mark San Diego, who lived in Edmonds, died on Feb. 22 surrounded by his family and friends after after being diagnosed with cancer a few months ago.
San Diego served Lynnwood for 24 years.
The Lynnwood Police Guild Web site posted the following: “We will miss our brother in blue and our dear friend. Our police family is saddened by this difficult loss; however, we stand strong forever for his family.”
While a reserve officer is paid a small stipend, the 62-year0ld San Diego essentially volunteered his time to serve the public and put himself at risk.
For the past eight years, San Diego’s day job was spent protecting the Snohomish County Court House as a marshal in the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office Security Unit.
His supervisor there, Sgt. Dave Hayes, said it was clear Mark loved the job and the camaraderie.
“We lost a great public servant in Mark San Diego,” Hayes said. “He was funny, full of life and loved what he was doing.”
Mark was beloved and respected by many at Lynnwood Police Department.
Lynnwood Police Chief Steve Jensen said San Diego served the Citizens of Lynnwood and the Lynnwood Police Department with dedication and honor for 24 years.
“His death is a sad event in the lives of all City and Lynnwood Police Departmental staff. He will be missed and remembered with fondness and respect.”
Lynnwood Police Sgt. Jon Grabinski said not only was San Diego a fine man but he was also a combat marine in Vietnam and was honored for an extraordinary act of bravery with the Medal of Valor for an incident in 1996.
Grabinski was on duty the night of the incident.
“It was late one night in 1996 when a call came in to 911 regarding a knife fight at a Lynnwood convenience store. There was a large crowd that had formed and Mark was the first to arrive on scene.
The suspect who was still armed with the knife wouldn’t comply. Mark could have done a number of things at this point, even use deadly force, but instead he went hand-to-hand with him and disarmed the suspect of the knife and took him into custody all by himself.”
Grabinski added, “Mark is smaller in stature, which made it even more extraordinary.”
Many officers and staff have said San Diego was fun to be around. Everyone liked and respected him and he’ll be missed by many.
San Diego is survived by his wife Teresa, sons Mike and Mark, daughter Lisa and her husband Mike and his grandson, along with his mother Betty and a large extended family.