Meet the Department
The chief of police provides general management direction and control for the department. The chief and deputy chief of police are responsible for strategic planning, and for collaborating with the city manager, city council and community members to ensure peace and public safety on Bainbridge Island. They also serve as media contacts, initiate and supervise community outreach events, represent the department at community functions, and work with community groups to shape a collective vision of policing. Administrative staff also maintain intergovernmental relationships with other regional law enforcement agencies, first responders, homeland security, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Washington State Department of Transportation.
The administrative supervisor oversees records and evidence, and assists the chief and deputy chief of police with accounts payable, budgeting, calendaring, complaints and recognition, contracts, correspondence, projects, training and travel logistics, and special events.
The primary responsibility of the department's two police clerks is to organize, preserve, maintain, reproduce, and disseminate department records of all kinds including case files, correspondence, contracts, complaints and evidence according to state law.
Police clerks greet citizens in person, by phone, and via email to evaluate and address all types of inquiries and requests. They provide fingerprinting services, issue concealed weapons permits, register home and business alarms, issue pet licenses, respond to public disclosure requests, seal records, check and quash bench warrants, enter protection orders, process stolen property into the state WACIC system, and much more.
Property and Evidence
The department's evidence technician is carefully trained in the intake, processing, storage, preservation, inventory, release and destruction of evidence related to criminal activity as well as found property and items held for safekeeping. Additional responsibilities include purchasing supplies and equipment for officers and staff, and maintaining equipment inventory records.
The patrol section is commanded by the deputy chief whose primary responsibility is to provide general management direction and control for that section. The patrol section consists of uniformed patrol, marine services, and the harbormaster.
The department's patrol officers respond to calls for service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the community, maintaining peace and order by protecting life and property through impartial enforcement of federal, state and local laws. Patrol officers also address criminal activity, conduct traffic collision investigations, direct traffic in congested areas and during emergency situations, identify and eliminate safety hazards, serve search and arrest warrants, issue traffic citations and infractions, and investigate crime scenes. Officers generally perform their duties using police vehicles, but may conduct walking beats, and have bicycles and motorcycles available for patrolling congested areas and parks.
With 53 miles of rugged shoreline surrounding our community, the department's marine services unit is a critical component of public safety.
Our primary vessel is a well-equipped 33-foot SAFE Boat capable of carrying 18 passengers. The vessel, referred to as M8, features high definition imaging sonar, radar, a chart plotter, an encrypted Automatic Identification System, a micro-ROV (remotely operated vehicle), radiation detection equipment, 2 VHF radios, collision and depth alarms, and an on-board computer with thermal imaging capability. The vessel and its crew operate with several core missions in mind; namely search and rescue, vessel assistance, recreational boating enforcement, environmental response, and assistance to other agencies such as the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S Coast Guard, Washington State Ferries and the Department of Homeland Security. The vessel primarily conducts operations in the jurisdictional waters surrounding Bainbridge Island, but occasionally leaves the immediate area when emergency assistance is requested by other agencies.
The department’s second boat, referred to as M11, was added to the fleet in 2016. An 18-foot vessel with a single outboard motor, M11 is significantly smaller and more easily maneuverable than M8, and perfect for conducting in-harbor operations such as boating safety checks, boater education, and boater assistance as well as enforcement of the island’s four “No-Wake” Zones (Eagle Harbor, Port Madison, Manzanita Bay, and Blakeley Harbor). With a 5 person capacity, the vessel can easily be launched at primitive sites, and trailered with just a pickup truck.
M11 is also outfitted with a power hauler to extract derelict fishing gear from the water, which cannot be conducted aboard M8 without damaging its collar.
The detectives section is commanded by the deputy chief whose primary responsibility is to provide general management direction and control for that section. The detectives section consists of two full-time investigators, plus parking enforcement, and the community health navigator.
Investigators follow up on major crimes occurring in the community and cases initially handled by patrol officers with regard to property crimes and crimes against persons. Detectives interview suspects and victims, take witness statements, collect and process crime scene evidence, and testify in court. Additionally, detectives conduct background investigations of agency applicants, represent the department at local meetings and committees, and fill in for patrol during shift shortages.
Community Health Navigator
Kelsey Lynch was hired as the department's community health navigator in early 2021. The navigator program complements ongoing efforts to educate officers about behavioral health issues and help those with issues navigate the resources available to them outside the criminal justice system. Kelsey also serves as the department's homeless liaison. She can be reached by phone at 206-780-4663 or by email.
Parking enforcement officers (PEOs) perform field and office work related to the enforcement of parking ordinances and maintain parking records. Year round, PEOs walk and drive throughout the island to ensure compliance with parking regulations, especially in carpool areas, no parking zones, disabled parking areas, time-limited spaces, and address vehicles blocking access and sidewalks. PEOs are also responsible for addressing parking complaints, impounding improperly parked or abandoned vehicles, directing traffic when needed, appearing in traffic court, attending community meetings to address parking issues and managing the downtown employee parking permit program.