New deputy looking forward to being a part of community

There’s a new deputy patrolling the not-so-mean streets of Coupeville, but don’t worry: He’s no stranger to the area.

Deputy Leif Haugen brings with him more than 25 years of Whidbey Island law enforcement experience.

Haugen’s first day on the job was Wednesday, Jan. 4. He replaced Deputy Bo Miller, who transferred to another assignment within the Island County Sheriff’s office, said Coupeville Mayor Molly Hughes.

Haugen worked for the Langley Police Department for 15 years and then moved to the sheriff’s office for the last 10-and-a-half years, working exclusively on South Whidbey.

“I know small towns,” Haugen said. “I jumped at this opportunity.”

His wife is a school teacher with the South Whidbey School District and together they’ve raised their three children on the island.

Haugen said he’s looking forward to the change of pace working for the marshals office will bring.

“I enjoy interacting with people,” he said. “In a small town environment, you have more opportunity.”

He said smaller agencies have more of an ability to emphasize community-oriented policing, a technique he looks forward to practicing.

“I want to solve the community’s problem’s together,” Haugen said.

Haugen describes himself as “very approachable” and encourages the people in the community to introduce themselves if they see him around.

“I’m looking forward to making new friends,” he said.