PIO hired

A former broadcast journalist for KIRO 7 News in Seattle has been hired by the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office as its first full-time civilian public information officer.

Kevin McCarty was introduced via social media Jan. 18. Most recently serving as the PIO for the state Gambling Commission, McCarty is best known for his work at KIRO, where he spent 22 years—16 as the Pierce County bureau chief, covering news stories in the surrounding counties including Kitsap.

McCarty’s work has led to multiple awards, including an Emmy for coverage of the Amtrak derailment in DuPont in 2017.

He also holds certificates from the FBI Law Enforcement Education Development Association for Master Public Information Officer and Media and Public Relations.

Sheriff John Gese said, “I am extremely pleased to have someone of Kevin’s caliber and experience join our KCSO team and excited to see the impact that it will help to further develop our communications and outreach efforts.”

New K-9 team

Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office deputy Aaron Baker and K-9 Odin certified as a Generalist K-9 team in Washington are now ready to help with tracking, building searches, area searches, evidence searches and protection work.

Odin is a 2-year-old German Shepherd who was rescued as a puppy from a family in Alabama by a Special Forces soldier who later sold the dog to Tarheel K-9 in North Carolina upon his military deployment. Odin was selected by the KCSO in September after an extensive testing process.

Odin’s acquisition was helped in large part by support from the Peninsula Dog fanciers, AKC Unite and the Sandy Hill Foundation. Since September, Baker and Odin have been training full-time to prepare for the state certification standards.

New legislators

Rep. Travis Couture was recently sworn in as a new state legislator in Olympia for the 35th District, which includes Kitsap County.

He will serve on four House committees in the scheduled 105-day session: Appropriations, Capital Budget, Environment and Energy, and Human Services, Youth and Early Learning.

The defense contractor at Naval Submarine Base Kitsap is the assistant ranking member in that final committee. “As the father of four I understand the unique challenges parents face with education, child care, the high cost of living and more,” he said.

For more call 360-786-7902, email or go to

Rep. Spencer Hutchins of the 26th District also was sworn in. He will serve as assistant ranking member of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee, and also the Housing and Transportation committees. He’s a former Gig Harbor city councilman.

He can be reached at 360-786-7964 or email