By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News
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Jefferson County Sheriff’s Chief Civil Deputy Brian Tracer will change his allegiance from police to fire agencies Jan. 20 but expects the skills will carry over, he said.
“With the Sheriff’s Office, I worked with the fire department to determine the criminal aspects of a fire, find out who started the fire, when it started and if necessary, bring the information to the prosecutor,” Tracer said.
“Part of my new job is to conduct investigations, which I’ve done forever, and I expect to bring my investigative knowledge to the fire department and keep up the cooperation between agencies,” he added.
Tracer, 42, will earn a $73,000 annual salary. He replaces Bob Low, who is retiring Jan. 31.
Tracer was selected from four candidates who applied for the position. The East Jefferson Fire-Rescue board hired him Jan. 12.
Sheriff Tony Hernandez said he expects to name a replacement for Tracer in the next two weeks.
“This will fit him well and I wish him luck,” Hernandez said.
Tracer will take charge of the department’s fire inspection and investigation programs, as well as act as chief of facilities and apparatus maintenance.
Gordon Pomeroy, chief of East Jefferson Fire-Rescue, now acts as the default fire marshal and delegates investigations on a case-by-case basis.
The permanent fire marshal title is part of Tracer’s new position.
Jefferson County commissioners recently approved a new structure for the job of the fire marshal, who will work closely with the Department of Community Development and its director, Carl Smith.
Tracer also will be on the duty chief rotation, assuming a leadership role on active incidents.
In addition to his 15 years of service as a deputy, Tracer has six years of experience as a volunteer firefighter and more than 15 years of fire investigation experience, according to the fire department.
He also has attended three National Fire Academy leadership courses and is currently the president of the regional Fire Investigation Task Force, which investigates the cause of fires in Jefferson County.
He is a dive master and has assisted in water rescues, and is also a certified Marine Law Enforcement and Boating Safety instructor.
A 1991 graduate of Port Townsend High School, Tracer is married and has two school-age children.
He has always lived in Jefferson County. When he attended Olympic College, he commuted to Bremerton.
“I got into law enforcement to help people and be part of the community,” he said.
“I wanted to help provide service that people could trust, so people who are in trouble can call me, call us, and we’ll be able to help.”
Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or email@example.com.