Boyer vying for a third term

Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer -
Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer
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Kitsap County Sheriff Steve Boyer is approaching his 35th year in law enforcement and is looking forward to serving the community for at least another four years.

Boyer has opted to contend for a third term in this fall’s Democratic primary election against KCSO Deputy Jim Rye. Boyer’s public campaign kick off is 5:30-7 p.m. Thursday, June 22 at the Silverdale Community Center.

For Boyer, the decision to run again was an easy one.

“I love the job, I love the agency,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed what we’ve been able to accomplish for our community.”

During his tenure with KCSO, the department has overcome many challenges and accomplished several firsts, according to Boyer.

“There’s not one single aspect of the sheriff’s office that we haven’t improved dramatically,” he said.

In the last six years, crime rates across the county have decreased. Boyer attributes those results to several factors within the department including the “hard work of people doing the work on the streets,” the ongoing education of citizens and prevention programs such as neighborhood watches and Citizens on Patrol (COP). The work of reserve officers, COP and Explorer Search and Rescue volunteers also has helped to free up officers’ time, he added.

A new crime mapping system assisting officers in targeting the county’s high crime areas is one of many new tools the department is utilizing.

In recent years more officers also have been added to the West Sound Narcotics Enforcement Team (WestNET).

“I’m very proud of WestNET, they’re one of the top drug forces in the state,” Boyer said.

There has been a recent decrease in the number of meth labs in the county with a 50 percent drop in 2005.

The meth problem, however, is an issue Boyer identifies as a challenge which calls for “a continued coordinated effort to combat.”

During Boyer’s tenure, the department has seen the construction of a new state of the art jail, increased staffing levels, more training for officers and targeted crime prevention collaborations.

Although staffing levels have increased in the past seven years — 26 officers and 31 corrections officers have been added — Boyer realizes it remains a major challenge.

“Our goal was to get to .75 (officers) per 1,000 (population) and we met that, but I’d still like to get to .8 per 1,000,” he said. “We’re still ranked 36 out of 39 in the state (of the lowest officers per capita per county) ... I’d like more (officers) and we’ll continue to do that within budget constraints.”

As the sheriff, Boyer manages a department budget of $27 million as well as the deputy patrol, jail services, SWAT team, search and rescue and marine patrol.

During his 26-year career with the Washington State Patrol, Boyer served as a trooper, detective, fatality collision investigations specialist, detachment sergeant, criminal investigations region commander, SWAT commander and assistant district commander.

“Citizens want someone with a proven track record, someone they can trust and someone who will stand up for what’s right,” he said.

During his career with WSP he turned down a promotion of captain, not wanting to move his family for an eighth time.

“I turned it down so I could stay (in Kitsap County),” Boyer said. “We’ve been here over 20 years. It’s a good place to raise a family, a good place to work and it’s a good community.”

Boyer has received several endorsements from various community members and organizations including U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Bainbridge Island), Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge, the Kitsap County Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, Kitsap County Commissioner Chris Endresen, Kitsap County Treasurer Barbara Stephenson and more.

“I support Sheriff Boyer in his re-election,” Hauge said. “He has been a valuable partner in the effort to improve the local justice system. He’s a very dedicated public servant.”

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