Troopers vs. Deputies vs. Officers (Revisited)

(Blogger’s note: I’ve received several queries lately about differences between law enforcement jurisdictions in our area. So I thought I’d rehash a blog entry from the past. Enjoy!)

When you’re reading through our “Code 911” section in the Kitsap Sun, you’ve probably noticed that different law enforcement agencies respond to different kinds of emergencies and crimes, in different locations.

This bears some appropriate interpretation.

Generally speaking, there are three different law enforcement agents that go to 911 calls in the county. Let’s start on the larger level, and work our way in:



Washington State Patrol troopers

Found most times on — but not limited to — the state’s 17,524 miles of highways, a trooper’s primary tasks are “traffic law enforcement, collision investigation, and motorist assists,” according to their Web Site. Employed by the state, the core of about 1,000 troopers also specialize in driving under the influence (DUI) enforcement and can be called in by local law enforcement to perform field sobriety tests.

Like all agencies, they do have unmarked cars (without overhead lights) and different-colored cars, but most are white and bear the Washington State Patrol logo on their sides. Troopers have light blue uniforms and the trademark black bow tie.

The state patrol also is the enforcement arm of the U.S. Coast Guard aboard Washington State Ferries (which are technically state highways themselves) and runs the state’s criminal investigation labs.

Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies

Like all the state’s counties, Kitsap, Jefferson and Mason Counties have a sheriff. Here in Kitsap, Sheriff Steve Boyer oversees about 120 sheriff’s deputies and an 80-plus corrections officer staff at the Kitsap County Jail. From responding to 911 calls to investigating crimes with their detectives’ unit, they patrol the unincorporated areas of the county.

The Sheriff’s office, too, has different types of cars, but most are green in color. Their uniforms are dark green (with brown pants), and include a badge in the shape of a six-pointed star.

city patrol officers

Finally, we come to the municipal police officer, employed by individual cities. In Kitsap, our four cities — Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo, Bremerton and Port Orchard — each maintain a police department.

They each perform similar duties as the sheriff’s office does for the incorporated cities of the county. Patrol officers wear dark blue uniforms with an oval-shaped silver badge signifying the city they work for.

Their cars are different colors, however. Bainbridge’s cars are mostly white; Poulsbo’s and Port Orchard mostly a shade of darkish blue; and Bremerton’s mostly silver.

One thought on “Troopers vs. Deputies vs. Officers (Revisited)

  1. … And?

    If the Sheriff’s Office works closely with “Crime Stoppers,” why isn’t it working?
    How many times must a criminal maim and destroy the same property before “Crime Stopper” stops it?
    How does “Crime Stoppers” work?
    What have they stopped lately?

    How does salary differ between the departments of State Patrol, Sheriff’s Department and the Police Department and why?

    What is the male, female ratio in each?

    Which Washington County pays the most for their police protection?

    Please let me thank our officers for doing a good job for little pay and less appreciation.

    It is time for a change.

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