Captain Edward J. (E.J.) Swainson

Commander, Homeland Security Division

Washington State Patrol


Edward J. (E.J.) Swainson is a Washington State Patrol (WSP) Captain, commanding the Homeland Security Division based in Seattle, Washington.  He is responsible for security, crime prevention and response for the Washington State Ferry (WSF) system which carried 24 million passengers in 2015 and is the largest ferry system in North America. He oversees the Washington State Fusion Center and the WSP’s Emergency Management response to wildfires, landslides, earthquakes and other disasters.

E.J. graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) with a degree in English Literature.  He was commissioned as an Army Aviation Officer through the CWU Army ROTC program and won the George C. Marshal Award for military studies.  He served the Washington Army National Guard flying and leading a rotary aviation unit.  His career with the WSP started in 1991 and he graduated with the 75th WSP trooper cadet class which he served as class president.  

He was a line trooper in Seattle, Spokane, and on Stevens Pass.  He worked 12 years in investigations as a detective, detective sergeant, and lieutenant handling criminal, administrative and corruption cases.  He started two investigative units from the ground up including the Snohomish County Auto Theft (SNOCAT) Task Force which was later recognized in the U.S. House of Representatives for excellence in crime fighting.  He received the WSP's award for Problem Oriented Police work, involving auto theft and received the Herman Goldstein Award.  He responded to and led at several major events, including the collapse of the Skagit River bridge over Interstate 5, a line of duty death response, the Oso landslide disaster and the Marysville Pilchuk High School shooting.

He and his wife have been happily married for over 24 years and are the proud parents of two amazing children.  He has grudgingly become a handyman, he enjoys reading and working out when not with family or working to protect the citizens of Washington state.