Cop petitions to have case turned over to Kitsap County Drug Court

PORT ORCHARD — Stacey Smaaladen, the Poulsbo Police Officer charged with theft and posession of a controlled substance, petitioned to have her case moved to Kitsap County Drug Court during a Thursday, June 14 omnibus hearing in Kitsap County Superior Court.

Poulsbo Police Chief Dan Schoonmaker confirmed after the hearing on Thursday, that Smaaladen continues to remain on paid administrative leave.

Smaaladen is a 23-year veteran of the Poulsbo Police Department, where she also works as a Crisis Intervention Officer. She has been off the job since Nov. 3, 2017 after Schoonmaker was presented with surveillance footage which appeared to show her removing prescription drugs from a public drop box in the department lobby.

After reviewing the footage, Schoonmaker placed the officer on paid administrative leave.

In a February interview, Schoonmaker said that before the department makes any decision on whether Smaaladen gets to keep her badge, a separate internal investigation of her actions would be conducted, immediately following the criminal investigation.

“We have our own independent administrative investigation. We wait on that until the criminal investigation is done.” Schoonmaker said in February. “Where that investigation leads will be based on internal policies, not necessarily on the same legal guidelines that the prosecutor is going to use.”

Bremerton Interim Police Chief James Burchett and Lt. Randy Plumb interviewed Smaaladen at Poulsbo City Hall when she arrived for work on Nov. 3, 2017. According to their report, Smaaladen said she stole the drugs to “supplement her legally prescribed medication for pain, due to injuries including back surgery.”

On Sept. 27, 2017, Spine Institute Northwest posted a video interview with Smaaladen, in which the officer explains how the surgical treatment she received for her back relieved her of the severe pain that had relegated her to light duty and kept her from riding her horse.

Smaaladen acknowledged during her initial interview with Burchett and Plumb that what she did was theft, adding that she “felt guilty.” She explained that she had been trying to wean herself off the medications “and was working with her doctor to do so as well,” according to the investigation report. She admitted stealing Hydrocodone, Ibuprofen, Gabapentin, Percocet and Flexeril. But in searching her backpack, Burchett and Plumb found other medications for which she did not have a prescription: Morphine Sulfate, Tramadol, Cyclobenzaprine, Spironolactone, Levothyroxine, Bupropion, Pantoprazole, Nortriptyline, Floricet, Merthocarbamol, and Amitriptyline.

— Nick Twietmeyer is a reporter with Kitsap News Group. Nick can be reached at