Shared from the Department of Adult and Juvenile Detention’s Employee Spotlight
The Chinese New Year in downtown Seattle’s International District can be heard clear across the skyscrapers to the Puget Sound. KCCF Corrections Officer Chris Chu provides the rhythmic drumbeat during the Lion Dance. When he is finished, he walks amongst the participants and onlookers, mounts his BMW motorcycle, and briefly, the exhaust’s roar mingles with the boisterous festivities. A pile of fallen orange and red leaves scatter excitedly as the motorcycle roars across I-90 as its rider travels up to Snoqualmie Pass. The chilled wind bites at his face as he rides through the Cascade mountain pass. A brief stop at the Snoqualmie Falls brings memories of yesteryear. He lives for these moments of solace and peace. Chris reflects on his life as a corrections officer and as a family man, proud of who he has become and who has helped him come so far.
Growing up a Beacon Hill native, Chris attended Franklin High School. He enjoyed gymnastics and the occasional pick-up sports game however his studies in school and of martial arts took priority. A strong interest in public outreach provided Chris with the insight to see himself as an asset in protecting others, in particular law enforcement.
October 1989 saw Chris accepting a job offer at the King County Correctional Facility. As the length of his career grew, so did his family. The time to teach Chinese martial arts gave way to only practice as three children and a dog split his time between work at KCCF and travelling. When he is not visiting sunnier locales, Chris has a penchant to walk South Seattle with jazz in his headphones and to enjoy Washington’s many roads on his BMW motorcycle.
“Pray for peace, be prepared for violence.” This mantra and philosophy follows Chris throughout his personal and professional life as he never knows what circumstances will bring day-to-day at a correctional facility. Chris trains so he doesn’t have to fight. Through verbal de-escalation and respecting people’s experiences, Chris’ application of Chinese martial arts is not the perceived public view of a martial artist. He does not look for a fight when an option to connect with a person will produce a calmer outcome. Chris hopes through his actions he has made KCCF a more respectable and safer place for inmates and his fellow officers.
We at DAJD are lucky to have Chris on our team!