Officer leaves Florida to join Bainbridge police force

Contributed photo / City of Bainbridge Island “I fell in love with the island the moment I got off the ferry and could smell the trees," says new BIPD Officer Jon Ledbetter.
Contributed photo / City of Bainbridge Island
“I fell in love with the island the moment I got off the ferry and could smell the trees,” says new BIPD Officer Jon Ledbetter.

Officer Jon Ledbetter became the third new hire for the Bainbridge Island Police Department since July.

Ledbetter, along with Officer Jon Bingham and Deputy Chief Jeff Horn, were administered their Oath of Office by Police Chief Matthew Hamner at Monday’s Bainbridge City Council meeting.

“I’m very proud of these hires,” Hamner told the City Council crowd, which included the officers’ families and other BIPD officers.

Ledbetter, who started Aug. 18, worked the last three years for the Naples Police Department in Naples, Florida. He attended Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology.

While seeing family in Seattle, Ledbetter also visited Bainbridge Island and soon realized where he wanted to make his new home with his girlfriend and his dog.

“I fell in love with the island the moment I got off the ferry and could smell the trees,” Ledbetter said.

Ledbetter also said he was intrigued with the prospect of working with a police force that had a “close relationship with the community.”

“I want to be the kind of officer that people get to know on a first name basis,” Ledbetter said.

After months of being short staffed, the addition of Ledbetter, Horn and Bingham leaves the Bainbridge Island Police Department with only one officer position to fill on the 19-officer force.

Contributed photo / City of Bainbridge Island Jon Bingham, a 31-year Bainbridge Island resident, joined the BIPD July 21.
Contributed photo / City of Bainbridge Island
Jon Bingham, a 31-year Bainbridge Island resident, joined the BIPD July 21.
Ethan Fowler / Special to the Kitsap Sun "It feels great. It’s a new adventure for me and my family,” says new BIPD Deputy Chief Jeff Horn of moving to Bainbridge Island.
Ethan Fowler / Special to the Kitsap Sun
“It feels great. It’s a new adventure for me and my family,” says new BIPD Deputy Chief Jeff Horn of moving to Bainbridge Island.
Bainbridge Islander, Police,

About Ethan Fowler

Ethan Fowler has more than 20 years of journalism experience with 19 years of daily and weekly newspaper experience covering news, features and sports, as well as being an editor for 14 of those years. He has won several writing awards over the years in Washington state, Virginia, Texas and Georgia, including award-winning investigative journalism. Fowler was paid by the Review & Herald Publishing Association in 2009 to co-author a book, "Brushed Back: The Story of Trevor Bullock," with his wife. The book details the real life of a top minor league pitcher in the Philadelphia Phillies organization and his Christian faith. "Brushed Back" has sold more than 2,000 copies since its release.