While most CEOs look forward to calling it quits on Fridays for a quiet evening at home or a leisurely jaunt on the town, Robert Harvey is preparing himself for an all-night patrol of notorious gang hangouts for drug deals and other illegal offenses. For the past 10 years, Harvey, president/CEO of Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union, has patrolled the city’s streets as a fully-accredited reserve officer with the Seattle Police Department’s gang unit. Every other weekend, from 6:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m., Harvey dons his officer’s uniform complete with a department-issued gun and heads out into the unknown. “There is a danger aspect to this, I’m very aware that things can happen,” Harvey emphasized. “(My partners) count on each other for help and what can I say, I love the work.” The bulk of Harvey’s time on patrol is spent looking for persons with outstanding warrants, disrupting illegal activities and talking to gang members trying to convince them their way of life will only lead to a dead end. The city’s pool halls are a frequent hangout for suspicious goings-on so Harvey patrols those at least three times each night. If someone gets assaulted during a scuffle, Harvey and others do the detective work trying to piece together what happened and why. Harvey cut his teeth as a Marine Corp officer in Los Angeles nearly 20 years ago. Through the Marines, he signed up for a reserve office position there and has been hooked since. The most rewarding part of his officer service is talking to the young “gang bangers” ages 13 to 18 and reminding them that “their choices of alcohol, drugs – all of that leads to bigger crimes that lead to jail or death.” Harvey and other officers from the department’s gang unit are frequent visitors to area schools working closely with guidance counselors to reach the most vulnerable. Harvey recalls a young man from Los Angeles who moved up to Seattle to get away from his former “gang banging” environment, determined to make a fresh start. That man got “knifed at a club” and even after a talk from Harvey and others, he chose to get revenge. “We feel bad about the times we try and reach out to as many (youngsters) as we can only to see some of them end up in the city morgue,” Harvey said. His wife of 15 years, BernaDean, is “very supportive” of Harvey’s work as is the credit union’s board of directors. “I love the work that I do,” Harvey said. “It’s a gratifying use of some extra time every other weekend.” [email protected]

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