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Community Spotlight: Behind the desk of a traffic safety coordinator

By RACHEL BRANT

Staff writer

Leading the Kitsap County Traffic Safety Task Force is a tough job, but Carolyn Pence is up for the challenge. The former legal assistant has served as the task force coordinator for the past two years and loves educating people on driving safe on the roadways.

Pence re-cently invited us into her Silverdale office to answer the questions everyone wants to know.

Question: How did you get involved with the Kitsap County Traffic Safety Task Force?

Answer: When they advertised for the position I applied for it and thought that it was perfect for me. I have a degree in criminal justice and I’ve always enjoyed working with and educating the public. I thought it was the best of both worlds.

Q: What is your favorite part of Silverdale?

A: Old Town. It’s close to the water and my hair salon’s down there and there’s lots of cute shops.

Q: What do you like the most about your job?

A: Being able to go out and work with law enforcement on educating the public. This job has given me the opportunity to work with a lot of officers who all pretty much have the same mission in mind to keep the roads safe for drivers.

Q: Family, kids?

A: I live with my husband, Lee, and almost 10-year-old daughter Kathryn.

Q: Do you have a favorite meal?

A: It would probably be a nice steak dinner with all the trimmings, you know, a baked potato and salad.

Q: What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

A: I like coffee-flavored ice cream.

Q: What is your first memory of Silverdale?

A: It was coming to Silverdale more than 20 years ago and staying at the Poplars with my parents. It was one of the only hotels in Silverdale and the mall wasn’t here.

Q: Do you have a favorite hobby?

A: Photography. When I take landscape photos with great sunsets or water, there’s a sense of calmness. It just seems to go on forever.

Q: Who would play you in a movie of your life?

A: Angelina Jolie, but she’d have to make a few changes first. We’d have to work on her a bit.

Q: What is your favorite type of music?

A: I like ’80s music. It takes me back to a fun time in my life when I was just getting out of college.

Q: What is your favorite television show?

A: “Law and Order: SVU,” it’s a family favorite. Our daughter, Kathryn, will pick that over other shows.

Q: What is your favorite movie?

A: Anything with Morgan Freeman. He does those great crime dramas, he’s just great.

Q: Which local event do you always participate in?

A: Central Kitsap Family Night, Kids’ Day, Kitsap County Fair & Stampede and Back-to-School Day in South Kitsap. My daughter likes to participate as well.

Q: What has been your most memorable vacation spot?

A: Our first trip to Disneyland with our daughter. Her mouth was just wide open the whole time.

Q: What is one thing you want to try in your life?

A: It may happen sooner than later, but I want to get into rock climbing.

Q: If you could change one thing about Silverdale, what would it be and why?

A: It goes back to my job, getting people to make the right choices, not to speed and not to drive while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. A change in behavior is one of the hardest things to do.

Q: If you could have any magical power, what would it be?

A: Teleportation. I’d like to go from one place to another instantly just to be able to be where I want to be quickly.

Q: What is your favorite season and why?

A: Fall, the colors are just beautiful.

Q: What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

A: I was a security guard at Capital Mall in Olympia. It was my first job out of college and I had to wear a uniform.

Q: What do you see as the biggest issue on the roads today?

A: I would start with speeding, especially in Kitsap County. The winding roads and big trees, you go around a corner too fast and hit a tree. I would say speeding is prevalent and impaired driving. A significant number of younger drivers under the age of 26 are exhibiting their independence by speeding and driving impaired.

Q: If you could change one thing about Kitsap County’s laws, what would it be?

A: We need stricter DUI laws because you can lower the speeds, write them tickets, but stricter DUI laws and consequences are needed. You can kill someone with your car and get six years in jail or you can go out and shoot someone and get 25 years, but both used lethal weapons.

Q: Who has made the biggest impression on your life?

A: My parents — they always supported me in what I did.

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