Crime stopper of Kitsap County

Many people only see police officers if they’ve broken a law.

Many people only see police officers if they’ve broken a law.

Deputy Pete Ball is different. He meets people before any laws are broken.

“It’s nice to have a different approach,” he said.

The Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputy was named the state Crime Prevention Officer of the Year and honored last night at the Bremerton Elks Lodge.

Ball joined KCSO nearly 30 years ago and worked in various areas including the traffic division and field training. He saw a posting for the community resource officer position more than 10 years ago and went for it.

“It sounded like an interesting job and I applied for it,” he said. “Crime prevention is something every officer is doing, but this is a way to dig into it deeper.”

Ball does everything related to crime prevention, including public education, supervising the Citizens on Patrol program and serving as KCSO’s representative to drug court.

“Every piece of it has a nice portion of it that’s very different,” he said.

For the public education aspect of the job, Ball gives presentations to a variety of community groups and businesses about workplace and personal safety.

He also helps establish neighborhood watch programs and puts together child identification kits for families during events like the Kitsap County Fair & Stampede.

“It’s really a gratifying position,” Ball said.

He said his involvement with the county’s drug court is probably his favorite aspect of being a community resource officer.

“Seeing people’s lives improve through drug court is great,” he said.

He also enjoys working with the 16 active members of the COP program who volunteer with KCSO. COP volunteers’ duties include enforcing handicapped parking regulations and assisting with traffic control.

“It just reinforces my faith with people on a regular basis that most people are good, law-abiding citizens,” Ball said of the COP volunteers.

Ball stays busy as KCSO’s only community resource officer and said there is enough work to support three officers.

“It’s a big job,” he said. “It’s a constant battle to stay on top of things. It just puts that much more pressure on the job.”

Ball said he hopes to retire in the spring and travel around the country with his wife, but for now, he has his mind focused on the future of crime prevention.

“We need to learn to deal better with cyber crimes and elder abuse. Those are huge, emerging issues,” Ball said. “Even though we have these emerging trends, we still have the burglar that’s going to kick in the door, so we still have to be vigilant for these things as well.”