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Like father, like son, in Milwaukie Police Department

On a recent Saturday morning in Milwaukie, most citizens awoke leisurely to begin their breakfast plans, unaware of the fact that in a nearby neighborhood, police officers were surrounding the last known residence of a convicted felon who was wanted on additional charges.

Because the suspect had a history of running from police, two officers knocked on his front door while two officers waited in the backyard to catch him if he tried to escape. The two officers in the backyard had no trouble communicating a plan if the worst happened — because they’re a father-son crimefighting team.

by: PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Officers Sean and Martin Stringer pull a Milwaukie Police Department patrol car in front of the Public Safety Building after a recent interview.Sean Stringer, 38, has been an MPD reserve officer for a year and a half, and his 18-year-old son, Martin, joined the MPD force this spring as a cadet, graduating from the police academy on April 9 and from Tigard High School on June 7. They also work together at Miller Paint Co. from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, then typically work a graveyard shift as officers starting Friday evenings.

“Martin and I see each other outside of the house more,” Sean Stringer said. “I’m ready for bed by Saturday mornings, but I also really look forward to work.”

Deciding to become a police officer five years ago, Sean Stringer recalled that some of his choice came out of his regret in not enlisting in the Army. His grandfather served in World War II, and his father and uncle in Vietnam.

Martin Stringer said that his dad would come home with stories about community policing in Milwaukie, which got him interested in pursuing his father’s career path.

“I see what he’s done and what he’s currently doing, and I can see myself following on the same path,” he said, noting that he’d like to go full-time at MPD at age 21 when he qualifies.

Both Stringers say that Gresham Police Officer Jarom Sweazey was “instrumental” in getting them started in their law-enforcement careers. He let them go on ride-alongs with him and answered countless questions that they had about police work.

They also listed the traits that they believe they share and that make them good police officers: honesty, integrity, the ability to communicate verbally and nonverbally, and the desire to help the public/community. Officers get lots of chances to interact positively with all types of people in their day-to-day work, they noted. In a more extreme case, Sean Stringer recalled giving a child a sticker while checking on family well-being while another officer arrested a parent.

“Anytime you’re dealing with children and providing them with a positive role model, that’s what I really enjoy most about this work,” he said.

Saying he “couldn’t be prouder” of his son, Sean Stringer originally got into the painting business after graduating from San Jose, Calif.’s Santa Teresa High School in 1993.