Phillip High

Jan 14, 2020

Officer Phillip High

Hoquiam Police Department
Ocean Shores, WA

Date of Death: January 14, 2020

Age: 53
Years of Service: 19
Duty Status: Active
Veteran: Yes

Officer High, who we called “PH”, came to HPD as a lateral officer from the Ocean Shores Police Department on February 1, 2010.  Prior to working at OSPD, PH was a corrections officer for the state Department of Corrections after moving to the Harbor from Idaho.

Officer High started his full-time career in law enforcement as a deputy sheriff for the Blaine County, Idaho Sheriff’s Department.

In his ten years with Hoquiam PD, Officer High was an outstanding patrol officer who acted with diligence, respect and compassion.  PH was unflappable and never seemed to come across a person or situation he could not de-escalate or find some sort of common ground toward a productive solution.

Officer High was a quiet and private person, but often showed his dry sense of humor and quick wit when least expected.

In addition to his patrol duties, where he preferred to work nights, Officer High was also a designated field training officer, arson investigator, negotiator on the Aberdeen Regional Crisis Response Team and a member of the department’s collision investigation team.

As if these duties were not enough, Officer High also volunteered (or maybe we volunteered him because of his organizational skills) to be our department accreditation manager.  Under PH’s leadership, determination and ability, he was able organize our department policies, procedures, proofs and practices to meet or exceed all of the 146 accreditation standards as set forth by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs.

PH not only was our accreditation manager for our first accreditation in 2013, but he also led us through our first re-accreditation in 2017.  He was working on getting us prepared for re-accreditation again in 2021.

Over the years, Hoquiam PD hosted two kids suffering from serious medical issues to become our “Chief for a Day”.  In addition to station tours, a tugboat ride and trip to the police academy in Burien, each chief and their family received gifts and special trips.

Each “Chief for a Day” was organized by Officer High and his wife, Molly.  They were the department contacts for our little chiefs and their families.  They collected the generous donations from our community and spent days shopping and wrapping gifts.  Not only did PH and Molly make sure our little chiefs were covered, but they got to know each family member and make sure their day was also special.

Officer High returned to school, while still working full-time and taking care of his family, and in 2015 was able to complete his Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a graduate certificate in Public Human Resources Management from Penn State University.

At the time of Officer High’s death, he was pursuing a doctorate degree and had been working on completing his clinical hours at a local medical facility.  PH was well liked and respected by all he worked with and helped within the program.

PH was a huge part of this department.  We have been grieving this past week, just as his family has been grieving and struggling with their loss.

Although he was our brother-in-blue, PH leaves behind his wife, stepson and many loving and caring family members who are devastated beyond words and which emotions cannot convey.  It was important to our department to allow them time to come together and grieve without interference.

In talking to PH’s family, it is now important to celebrate his life and dedication as a peace officer in this community and the other communities he has served.  Officer High was also an Army Veteran, so his time in uniform in service to his country was long.

The family is asking for loving memories and stories about Officer High to be shared at the following email address: philhighmemorial@gmail.com.

At this time, I feel the best way to honor PH is to remember the difference he made in so many lives.  To recognize his sacrifice.  And to remember that no matter what, there is always hope.

JEFF MYERS, Chief of Police

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