Police Officer Charlie Cortez [Tulalip, Washington]

Fallen Officers

Police Officer Charlie Cortez

Police Officer Charlie Cortez
Tulalip Tribal Police Department, Tribal Police
End of Watch Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Tulalip Tribal Police Department

Police Officer Charlie Cortez died after the 24-foot fisheries enforcement vessel he was in capsized after being struck by a rogue wave in the Puget Sound, Washington, at about 9:00 pm.

He and his partner had just escorted a distressed boater into Tulalip Bay when their vessel was struck by the wave and capsized. A search was immediately initiated by tribal, local, state, and federal agencies in the area. Officer Cortez’s partner was located in the water suffering from hypothermia near Hat Island at about 11:45 pm and rescued by tribal fishermen.

Officer Cortez was not located and, due to cold water temperatures and adverse weather conditions, it was determined that Officer Cortez could not have survived. The search and recovery operation was suspended on November 19th, 2020.

Officer Cortez had served with the Tulalip Tribal Police Department for three years.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available


  • Cause Drowned
  • Location Washington
  • Incident Date Tuesday, November 17, 2020

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