Today, the Seattle Police Department mourns the loss of retired Assistant Chief Noreen T. Skagen, a deeply respected pioneer in policing. She was 87 years of age.
Noreen Skagen began her career with the Seattle Police Department during the 1960’s, serving as one of the Seattle Police Department’s first ‘police women.’ Her career was marked with distinction and she rose through the ranks to become the department’s first female assistant chief.
Noreen Skagen married to Roy Skagen, another assistant chief at SPD. Both Noreen and Roy were bulwarks for constitutional policing during the turbulent 1970’s, a time when grand juries sought to rid the department of institutionalized corruption.
Noreen and Roy raised two sons, retired Seattle Police Deputy Chief Clark Kimerer and Burien Police Chief Scott Kimerer.
Noreen kept busy after ‘retirement’. She served as US Marshall for the Western District of Washington and later as Acting Police Chief of Mill Creek. Noreen also served as Commission Chair for the Seattle Public Safety Civil Service Commission.
While law enforcement may have been Noreen’s profession, her passion was the welfare of children. Noreen proudly served on the boards of Child Haven and Kids Place, devoting her spare time to diligently expand the efficacy of a cause that she cherished.
While Noreen had no trouble keeping busy at work, she loved nothing more than spending time with her family and friends, achieving the right balance between personal time, work, and volunteering.
Noreen fought a bravely against dementia, and moved to hospice care only when her health took a significant decline. Noreen passed away peacefully listening to her favorite opera music, surrounded by her beloved family.
Per her wishes, Noreen’s life will be celebrated with a small family memorial.