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Published: Monday, August 24, 2009, 12:01 a.m.

Jim Lawless, Edmonds assistant police chief

  • Assistant Police Chief Jim Lawless outside the Edmonds police station Thursday afternoon.

    Mark Mulligan / The Herald

    Assistant Police Chief Jim Lawless outside the Edmonds police station Thursday afternoon.

This story is part of a series on aptly named people. To read the previous stories, go to our Aptonyms page.
City of residence: Marysville
Occupation: Assistant police chief in Edmonds
Q: How did your name direct your career path?
It really didn't. For me personally, I never gave it any thought until it was pointed out to me, the irony of the name and my chosen profession. I kind of latched on to this profession as a kid and decided this is what I wanted to do. My grandmother used to take me to the local convenience store, and I'd see the policemen in there and they'd talk to me and I was all wide-eyed, and I knew this is what I wanted to do.
Q: Would you change your name if you could, and why or why not?
No. It's my name and it is what it is, and it has served me well throughout my career.
Q: If you could choose another career, what would it be?
Early on I was looking to be a wildlife biologist, but I found myself drifting back to this. I wouldn't change careers at this point. I'm going on 22 1/2 years. I started when I was 21.
Q: How do you know when someone has picked up on the fact that your name is an aptonym?
They might just start laughing. But the big one always is, ‘Is that really your name?' Or ‘Is that why you became a cop?' People are really just straightforward about it.
Q: How do people react to the combination of your name and job? Do they get it? Any funny stories as a result?
Sometimes people, they might be a little heated (when we arrive on the scene), and people forget for a minute and get distracted by my name. As much as it brings levity to situations, there are just plenty of situations where it might have been a heated situation where the name distracts. And it doesn't have to be necessarily a major or violent situation; people are just upset with something, not even a criminal situation, and the name distracts. It gets them to calm back down a bit, and it's been quite helpful throughout my career.
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424 or
Story tags » Edmonds

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