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Money rides on Whidbey cops kissing a pig

Oak Harbor Police Chief Rick Wallace, left, and Island County Sheriff Mark Brown weigh which pig would be most kissable.  - Courtesy photo
Oak Harbor Police Chief Rick Wallace, left, and Island County Sheriff Mark Brown weigh which pig would be most kissable.
— image credit: Courtesy photo

How much would you be willing to pay to see your boss smooch with a pig?

Cathy Niiro is betting members of law enforcement in the Island County Sheriff’s Office and the Oak Harbor Police Department will pay quite a bit for the chance to see their head honcho pucker up and plant one on a porker.

Better still, the public porcine-related humiliation is for a good cause.

Niiro, the director of United Way of Island County, said she wanted to start a fundraising competition between the Island County Sheriff’s Office and the Oak Harbor Police Department. She thought it would be funny, and a big motivator, if the rivalry involved necking with a pig, especially since police officers are known as “pigs” in some quarters, or at least they were back in the revolutionary ‘60s.

Niiro said she spoke with Sheriff Mark Brown and he thought it was a great idea and would not be offensive to sensitive police officers. Chief Rick Wallace grudgingly agreed. Thus, the Big Pig Kiss Off was born.

The staff members in the department that raises the most money will get to see their leader give some sugar, so to speak, to a real-life piggy in front of a crowd during the National Night Out event in Oak Harbor on Tuesday, Aug. 2. The upcoming spectacle has been dubbed “the Kiss at Six” since it will happen at 6 p.m.

“What a great opportunity for the community to see their police chief or sheriff kiss a pig,” Niiro said.

Wallace said he’s not worried. His undercover “intelligence sources” have informed him that the sheriff’s department has a substantial lead.

“Something tells me the sheriff is going to win,” he deadpanned. “I think he’s more deserving of it than I am.”

Brown concedes that he’s concerned about the outcome since his staff does seem to be making a lot of donations to the piggy banks in the office. He noted that even Commissioner Angie Homola made a contribution. He’s also worried about a rumor that Wallace is going to write a check at the end of the competition to ensure that the sheriff’s office does win.

“Kissing a pig is not something I would normally do,” he said, “but it’s for a good cause. I just hope it’s a tame pig.”

Niiro said the original pig slated for the smooch has grown too big, so a younger pig will fill in. The rule, she said, is that the sheriff or chief will have to kiss the pig on the piggy lips.

“She’ll be fully outfitted for the big event,” she said.

In addition, Niiro said the Big Pig Kiss Off is the kickoff event for the United Way annual campaign. She said the pig-related theme will continue throughout the effort. She hopes there will be more pig kissing in the future, as rival offices take on a similar challenge.

“It’s going to be interesting,” she said.

 

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