Sgt. Maj. Arnold McGinnis, who joined the department at the age of 25 in 1962, said he has repeatedly refused detective positions because he doesn't "like being tied to a desk" and he will retire next month at the age of 75, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported Wednesday.
Department officials said they were unaware of anyone serving longer than McGinnis.
"He's fit as a fiddle, spit-shined shoes and always works hard," Capt. Neil Low said. "I'd tell young officers, 'You should look so good now, let alone with 35 to 40 years on. I still think he's what young officers should model themselves after."
McGinnis had a role in the 1974 movie "McQ," which starred John Wayne as a Seattle police officer. McGinnis, who played a character who was knocked unconscious by the villains, described Wayne as a "down to early, friendly man."
McGinnis was promoted to sergeant major last month -- a rank officials said he is the first in the department's history to hold.
"I'm really honored to have something like this stuck on me," he said. "They can't give you any more money, but what the heck -- money isn't everything."