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Poulsbo PD hires new officer; starts in February
POULSBO — Gary Westerfield is the newest addition to the Poulsbo Police Department. He will begin patrolling on Feb. 1.
Westerfield served six years in the Marine Corps, was a reserve officer for Port Orchard, spent three years as a corrections officer, then spent 14 years as a deputy with the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, working in the North Kitsap region.
Police Chief Alan Townsend expects to place Westerfield with locally experienced officers before he patrols alone.
The City Council decided to fund the officer position in December, pulling funds from parks, roads, general government and more.
Westerfield will earn $32.49 per hour, or $67,579 annually. Townsend noted that beyond salary, taking into consideration medical, life insurance, retirement contributions, uniforms and more, the total cost of an officer is approximately $95,000 per year.
Currently, the police department has 10 officers, three sergeants, one detective, a deputy chief and the chief — a total of 16 sworn personnel. However, one officer is assigned to the Bremerton Special Operations Group, a multi-agency group targeting drug, gang, vice and/or organized criminal activity.
The nationwide average for a city with Poulsbo’s population, 10,000, is two officers for every 1,000 residents, according to the U.S. Justice Department. And a July staffing study by Poulsbo PD determined that approximately 80 percent of the area’s crime can be tied to drug use and that a total of 19 officers are needed to take on the job.