PO cop wins spot on state task force

Even cops get to go away to camp sometimes.

After two years as Port Orchard’s only police detective, Jason Glantz has been granted the chance to work for two years in Olympia as part of the state Missing and Exploited Children Task Force. Out of all the applicants, Glantz said, only one other officer had the necessary credentials to be considered for the spot.

The task force is a bit of a plum assignment. Thanks to a grant offered by the program, Port Orchard will be reimbursed for the entire cost of keeping Glantz on the payroll for the two years he’s gone.

The task force is even giving Glantz a car.

“They reimburse the city for everything,” Glantz said. “Same salary, same benefits, same everything.”

In return, Glantz will act as a go-between, returning to the Port Orchard Police Department every three or four months to share what he’s learned on the task force. In fact, he said, the skills-sharing aspect of this assignment is one of the top reasons he took it in the first place.

“It’s just another avenue to explore for more training,” Glantz said. “You meet a lot of new people, you make a lot of new contacts.”

Even though Port Orchard does not have a huge missing children or child exploitation problem, Glantz said the detective skills used by the task force are applicable pretty much anywhere. He said child exploiters — defined as anyone who would use minors for immoral purposes — increasingly use the Internet to snare their victims. By improving on-line detective skills, Glantz said, he is increasing his ability to track down other internet-based crimes: fraud, identity theft and so on.

“That’s definitely something you can bring back (to the department),” he said.

The department will have to do some shuffling to make up for Glantz’s absence. Officer Jerry Jensen, who had the detective job before Glantz, will be taking over the position on an interim basis. To compensate for the reduction in overall manpower, said Chief Al Townsend, the department will be hiring a new beat officer — interviews start next week.

“We will miss the experience that (Glantz) has, but it’s worth sending him for that little while,” Townsend said.

A permanent replacement for Glantz will be selected over the next few months. Townsend said he expects, apart from the inevitable list of applicants from outside the department, several within the department might be interested in applying as well.

“I’d want (the job) back permanently,” Jensen said.

The department rotates detectives every three years, which is how Glantz got the position from Jensen two years ago. When Glantz returns, however, he’ll have to wait a year before being allowed to apply again.

Actually, he said, he’s kind of looking forward to returning to patrol. The detective workload is not enviable — Glantz said he currently has about 47 open cases on his desk. Reasonably, he estimates, he could handle maybe 10 or 15 of those at any one time.

“Because of the workload, it would be nice to have two detectives,” Glantz said, suggesting he could then simply join the sitting detective when he returns. “But it would be nice to get back on the streets, get back in the swing of things.”

Glantz even said he’s looking forward to traffic stops.

“You meet so many different people,” he said.

The Missing and Exploited Children Task Force was established in 1999 by state Legislation. Its mission is to assist other law enforcement agencies — on request — with the investigation and pursuit of missing and/or exploited children cases.

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