Chief Jason Houck
Posted on 03/03/2022

Get to know Newcastle Police Department Chief Jason Houck!

Years in law enforcement both with the King County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) and any other agencies:

22 years, all with KCSO. Hired in 2000, started in Sammamish, eventually went to Precint 4, where I worked in White Center, Skyway and Vashon before working in the contract City of Burien. I eventually became a detective in the Precinct 4 area back to covering White Center. I spent about two years as a detective before I went to the air unit. I was in the air unit for about five years as a TFO and pilot before leaving back to patrol in unincorporated Precinct 3. I spent a few months there before heading back to Burien Patrol and then back to detectives. I was promoted and went to the Court Protection Unit in the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle. I spent about a year there before I was "lucky" enough to be moved over to our Internal Investigations United (IIU). I spent 1.5 years there before I moved to Sound transit as a patrol sergeant on graveyard. I spend about five months there before I was lucky enough to be selected for this position here in Newcastle.

Time in Newcastle and what you like about being here

I have been here since May 2018. There is a lot I like about working here. People wave at you with all their fingers, unlike other areas I have worked. I like the small town atmosphere that also allows me to have more personal interactions with the residents here. I like the ability to work in/with the community to make it a better place. It is obvious that the residents here in Newcastle appreciate the police and want to help us keep Newcastle a great place to live and work.

What do you wish people knew about police/police work?

A couple of things.

No. 1: We are human just like everyone else. We want to do the right thing and when an officer somewhere does something stupid, we are way more upset about it than the general public in most cases because it makes the rest of us look bad. We work very hard to gain the trust of the community and when an officer 15 miles away or thousands of miles away does something to scar that trust and makes the other hundreds of thousands of other honest, hardworking, dedicated officers look bad, that is VERY frustrating to us all.

No. 2: This is not TV. TV creates unreal expectations of what police can do and how they do it. We can not come out with a black light and solve everything in 60 minutes (48 with commercials). We would love to have all the resources that TV and movie cops have, but some are not real and others are not realistic for us to use to help solve every small crime.

No. 3: Crime fighting is a team sport. We need you to help us. NPD tries to put out crime prevention tips on social media to keep you and your belongings safe, but a lot of this is common sense. Lock doors, remove valuables from your cars, report suspicious activity, etc.

No. 4: We don't have ticket quotas. We cannot force you to speed or run stop signs, etc. You are driving the car and you are making those choices. I don't even like giving tickets but when we get complaints about traffic concerns, we investigate them and if you happen to be speeding or not stopping while we are around, you just may get a ticket. So, rather than be upset at the officer giving you a ticket, take a look in the rear view mirror and have a chat with the person you see looking back at you. They are the one responsible for getting you pulled over.

Hobbies outside of work?

Spending time with my kids, coaching their sports teams, hunting, fishing, camping, pretty much anything outdoors. I have also been known to do a triathlon or two.

Anything else you want to say or want people to know?

Please don't be afraid to say hi to us, talk to us, etc. Like I said above, one of my favorite things about working here is interacting with residents.

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