Here's an arresting story: A full-time Lynnwood police sergeant who is also a full-time winemaker and winery owner. And not just any police sergeant--a police sergeant with a degree in organic chemistry. This odd scenario is the thread that weaves the exhausting life tapestry of Jerry Riener, the owner of Guardian Cellars in Woodinville....
SW: How did you end up a police officer?
I got my degree in chemistry. I was going to become a doctor. That's all I ever wanted to be.
SW: Did you go to school here?
UW and UCLA.
After graduating, I started on the police force. Then in about 1999, I started volunteering at a winery. ...And then with my chemistry background I'd ask a lot of questions. I offered some suggestions, "Have you ever thought of doing this?" and processes that came easy to me, like the lab work and calculations--stuff I could just do in my head. I'd make little corrections once in a while. It was kind of funny because everyone there knew me as an officer and would just look at me like, "How the hell do you know this?" They'd be like, "Nothing personal, but you're a cop" and then I'd tell them about my degree in organic chemistry and they just told me to have at it.
SW: What do your co-workers think of your winemaking career?
They think it's cool. The funniest part is that the police officers go, "Wait, you're also a winemaker?" and the winemakers go, "You're a cop?" Actually, the police officers don't understand why I chose to become a cop after getting my chemistry degree.That's not a combination you hear about very often, but it always seems that police officers have a job that they plan to transition to, after they leave the force.
*Can you get a degree in organic chemistry as an undergrad? Sounds like a bachelor's degree is what he has, but maybe I'm wrong. Also, if he got a graduate degree in organic chemistry, it's even more CJ-worthy.