Longest-Serving WSP Chief Dies At 92

OLYMPIA, WA — The longest-serving Washington State Patrol Chief has died. Chief Will Bachofner was 92.

Bachofner is best known for changing the hiring standards to allow women and minorities to become state troopers.

“He was really the father of the modern Washington State Patrol,” said current WSP Chief John Batiste. “Will Bachofner understood long before other chiefs that a police agency must reflect the community it serves.”

Bachofner started with the patrol in 1942 and over the course of the next 22 years he worked his way through the ranks until Governor Albert Rossellini appointed him chief on January 15, 1964. Bachofner was reappointed to the position on January 11, 1965 by Governor Dan Evans.

After nearly 30 years with the WSP Bachofner retired in 1971 but never stopped working. He served as Executive Secretary of the Washington State Horse Racing Commission. His time as executive secretary came to an end in 1971 when Governor Dan Evans asked him to come out of retirement and again serve as chief. He accepted.

On April 30, 1977, serving a total of 11 years a chief, Bachofner retired for the second time.

Bachofner died Tuesday morning from the injuries he suffered in an Olympia-area car accident.

Funeral arrangements have not been released yet.