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By Christian Hill | Lacey Today
Chris Wenschoff's reputation for being "obsessively tidy," in the words of his supervisor, has paid dividends for the Lacey Police Department.
Wenschoff has won the department a custom trunk organizer - with an estimated value of more than $3,000 - for being among the winners of a essay contest sponsored by Law Enforcement Technology Magazine, a specialty publication for sworn officers.
"Even though we have a multi-million dollar budget, whenever you can save the department that kind of money, it's a pretty nice thing," Wenschoff said.
One of his supervisors, Lt. Matt Koehler, cut out the magazine's request for submissions and placed it in the K-9 officer's box. Wenschoff put some thoughts on a piece of paper about his need to bring order to chaos and asked if his wife, Amy, could write the essay.
"When it came back to me, it was 10 times better than what I gave her," he said.
The essay was written as a plea for the magazine to bring order to a work vehicle from an officer who prides himself on his neatness.
Koehler told the Lacey City Council that Wenschoff is known as being "obsessively tidy" when Koehler recognized the work of both the K-9 officer and his wife at a recent meeting.
Police Chief Dusty Pierpoint later said Wenschoff always shows up to work in a perfectly pressed uniform with nary a button out of place.
"He always looks extremely sharp and keeps his equipment the same way," he said.
And there's plenty of equipment.
To all the items Wenschoff is required to carry as a officer, add all the stuff needed by his canine partner of 2 1/2 years, a black German shepherd named Brek.
That includes Brek's bulletproof vest, first-aid kits, extra water and, of course, a pooper-scooper.
"The list goes on and on," Wenschoff said.
He has so much stuff, in fact, the department had to upgrade to a Chevrolet Tahoe sports-utility vehicle because there wasn't enough truck space in the old Ford Crown Victoria to carry required equipment, such as traffic cones and flares.
About 10 different officers nationwide won truck organizers from four different manufacturers as part of the essay contest, Wenschoff said.
He said the truck organizer should be delivered soon, and he and another officer will install it.
All the winning officers will provide feedback on the truck organizers to be included in an article in Law Enforcement Technology Magazine slated for publication in November, the K-9 officer said.
Christian Hill covers the city of Lacey and military for The Olympian. He can be reached at 360-754-5427 or at email@example.com.