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CK Faces: There’s a new sergeant in town

By RACHEL BRANT

Staff writer

Washington State Patrol Sgt. K. Triplett was born in South Seattle and worked the streets of her hometown for years.

But she recently decided to trek across the water and see what Kitsap County has to offer.

Triplett was promoted to the rank of sergeant earlier this month and now runs a detachment of six troopers at District 8 in Bremerton.

“It’s absolutely beautiful,” Triplett said. “I’m having a very good time learning about the area. It’s absolutely beautiful on this side of the water.”

Triplett spent her entire law enforcement career thus far with WSP in Seattle and decided it was time to take the written test and assessment to promote to sergeant.

“I did all of my time in South Seattle,” she said. “In 21 years in King County I’ve pretty much seen a lot.”

Triplett has been working out of Bremerton since Dec. 1 and could not be happier. She enjoys working with her supervisors and the troopers in her detachment.

“My co-workers are awesome. My detachment has been good to me,” she said. “Everybody’s been extremely welcoming.”

Triplett earned a degree in law and justice from Central Washington University and did not plan on becoming a police officer. A college friend, who is now a police lieutenant, dared her to fill out the WSP application and she did.

“To be quite honest, it was on a dare,” Triplett said with a smile. “If it hadn’t of been for the dare I wouldn’t have chosen this profession.”

Although she entered the profession on a dare, Triplett is happy with her career and enjoys her time with WSP.

“There’s no other career like being a state trooper,” she said. “State troopers do a whole different type of law enforcement. It’s a whole different kind of freedom and responsibility we have.”

During her time in South Seattle, Triplett worked on numerous auto theft cases. She won a national award in 2005 for her work on one particular case. Triplett and her colleagues discovered a man was stealing high-end SUVs from dealerships and selling them. Triplett and her crew recovered 40 stolen SUVs, but identified 100 of the stolen vehicles. The suspect was caught and sentenced to 19 years in prison.

“I very much enjoyed my time in auto theft,” Triplett said.

Triplett also is an expert in identity theft. In her off-time, she gives identity theft presentations to various community groups. Triplett said Washington is seventh in the nation for identity theft cases.

The new WSP sergeant enjoys “making a difference” everyday. Although she has worked on large, high profile cases, she also likes doing routine things to help people.

“I really enjoy talking to people and helping them whether it’s giving directions or helping an elderly person change a tire,” she said. “I like making a difference. We make a difference in every traffic stop.”

Triplett said the most difficult part of the job is witnessing or investigating fatal vehicle collisions. One particular collision in Seattle involved two young girls coming home from church who were killed when they pulled out in front of a large commercial vehicle. Both girls were killed.

“The part that just makes me angry are those serious collisions that end the way they do,” Triplett said. “They could have done this little thing differently and it would have ended up differently. No matter how long you’ve been on the job you never get that old that it doesn’t bother you.”

Being one of few females in the law enforcement field can work to her advantage, Triplett said. Suspects are sometimes less aggressive toward female troopers and they can more easily use “verbal judo” to talk a person down.

“It’s actually kind of helped me being a female in this job,” she said. “I always use my being a female to my advantage. It’s nice for the most part that I can talk myself out of it.”

If talking to a suspect does not help, Triplett said WSP troopers are equipped with the necessary tools like Tasers and pepper spray to stop a situation from escalating.

“You have to stay in great shape for this job,” she said. “You never know when things could change quickly.”

While based in Bremerton, Triplett said she hopes to learn more about the area and better serve the citizens of Kitsap County.

“I’d like to be able to get more in touch with the area and where the problem areas are and have the detachment look into it,” she said.

She would like to go back to her home turf in Seattle at some point, but Triplett plans to hang around Kitsap County for several years.

“To go back over there would be great, but I’m not in any hurry to leave,” she said.

Sgt. K. Triplett

Age: 43

Born: South Seattle

Education: bachelor’s degree in law and justice, Central Washington University

Family: significant other and a dog

Career: 1987-Present: Washington State Patrol

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