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Kulenkamp turns in badge after 25 years

Elvin Kulenkamp

Wanting to help others led Elvin Kulenkamp into his second career as a Pierce County Sheriff's Deputy after a short-lived first career as a farmer.

"We had a scanner and you would hear the crash details, and you would sit there waiting, listening for the help to arrive," he explained. "And all I wanted to do is go out there and give them the help they needed.

"I wanted to do something for the community."

The 56-year-old said he's experienced a lot of memorable moments in his 25 years with the sheriff's department, but he's ready to embark on his next career. He announced his retirement late last year and it became effective early in January.

"I want to thank the sheriff's department and Pierce County," he said. "I'm going to miss the people. We were put in a lot of unique situations, so our lives depended on each other. You get to know these people so well and how to work them."

He started as a dispatcher/jailer, quickly moving to patrol deputy. He served as a charter member of the Sheriff's Department Emergency Response Team and as a drug-enforcement officer.

By 1994, he returned to on-the-road patrolling.

"Going back to the road is the front line," Kulenkamp said. "It's where you encounter the people that need help the most."

He said he's got nothing planned for the future, which is the way he likes it.

"I'm going to be able to do what I want," he added. "Fishing in the summer and winter, mechanical work or stuff around the house."

Kulenkamp lives on 80 acres between Spring Valley and Elmwood with wife Amy and the couple's two sons--Justin, age 15, and Josh, age 10.