Category Archives: Police

Hear from your City Council candidates

City Council candidates Pegeen Mulhern and Ron Peltier met with the Kitsap Sun Editorial Board earlier this week to discuss key issues on the island, from transportation to affordable housing.

Mulhern and Peltier are running for the at large seat, which is currently held by Steve Bonkowski. He is not running for reelection.

Anne Blair also is not running for reelection. Kol Medina is running uncontested for her seat.

Michael Scott, who was appointed to the council earlier this year after David Ward resigned, is running uncontested.

Councilwoman Sarah Blossom is running for reelection and is uncontested as well.

Read more about all the island candidates, including school board and park district candidates, on the Kitsap Sun’s online election guide.

Update with the chief

Andrew Binion
Andrew Binion

Kitsap Sun reporter Andrew Binion sat down with Bainbridge Island Police Chief Matthew Hamner to talk about his first two years with the city and changes that have been made.

The department has moved to an organizational structure similar to other departments in the county, going from lieutenants to sergeants as first line supervisors.

There also are plans to have a community resource officer funded by a federal grant.

Hamner came from Indianapolis. Read about his background in a previous Kitsap Sun article.

Police blotter for June 26 edition

polie_blotter_logoSpeeding leads to underage pot citation
A teenager was cited for possession of marijuana after a silver Lexus was pulled over for going 42 in a 30-mph zone on Sportsman Club Road on June 20.
As a Bainbridge Island Police Department officer spoke with the 18-year-old female driver, he noticed a “strong odor of green (non-burned) marijuana,” according to a police report.
The officer asked the driver how much marijuana was in the car. She told him there was none, but there had been marijuana in the car previously.
The officer told the driver that she had to be 21 to possess pot, and asked her for the marijuana. She then pulled a small plastic bag with 5.4 grams of “a green leafy substance” out of her purse, before telling the officer, “I cannot believe I just gave you my marijuana.”
The driver was given a warning for speeding and a citation for the marijuana, according the police report.

Updated to reflect the edited code item in the June 26 print edition of the Islander.

Police blotter for June 12 edition

polie_blotter_logoInjury foils break in

A break in through a broken window was reported at the Filipino American Community Hall on June 4.

Although no items were missing, it appeared someone used bleach to try and clean up blood from an injury after climbing through the broken window.

It appeared that a person broke the window with a broom or dust pan and used a wheelbarrow to climb into the window that was 8 feet off the ground, according to the police report.

There were “sporadic” blood drops and smears from the window to the kitchen, along with footprints in the bleach. Police found shoe prints as well as a partial bare foot print.

An empty bottle of bleach was left on the kitchen counter.

Police blotter for June 5 edition

polie_blotter_logoDrunken driver stops for a bathroom break

Police found a silver Nissan Sentra pulled over at Koura and Highway 302 after reports of two men leaving the Suquamish Clearwater Casino while drunk May 30.

Casino security reported the men and their vehicle to local law enforcement about 2 a.m. when they were leaving because they had been “cut off from the bar” because of their “level of intoxication,” according to the police report.

Both men were standing outside the car when Bainbridge Island police found them, the passenger was “urinating in the side of the road.” The car was

According to the police report, the driver was slurring his words and fumbling his words.

He offered to leave the vehicle and “chuck the keys.” He admitted to driving and that he would have continued after his friend was done peeing, if the officer had not come along.

He blew a .222 breath alcohol level at about 2:30 a.m.

After being taken to the station and placed in a holding cell, the driver became “very ill” and vomited multiple times into the toilet.


Purse thief suspected of riding away

As a woman had her purse stolen from her car while dropping off books at the Bainbridge Island Library on May 28.

The woman parked in front of the main doors at the library and left her passenger door open about 2 p.m. that Thursday, according to the police report.

She notice a man with his bike sitting on the bench by the doors as she went inside.

The man, his bike and her purse were all gone when she got back to the car. No one witnessed the purse theft, which had $20 in cash. The woman’s wallet and cell phone were not in the purse.


Looking for pain meds

A man left a local dentist office without paying for his examination after asking for pain medication for a toothache May 27.

When the man was preparing to leave after his examination he requested medication multiple times, according to the police report, and it reminded an employee of a similar situation five years ago.

The employee asked for his ID, and he said it was in his car.

He went to the car and did not come back to pay for his $93 appointment. He did not receive any prescriptions, the employee told police.

She described the white man as having “slicked down white-yellow” hair and blue eyes. He is about 5’7’’ and 175-180 pounds.


Car rolls away

After a driver parked legally on Bjune Drive May 26, he heard a crash from his 2007 Honda rolling down hill across two lanes before striking a fence.

The driver was not sure if he had left the vehicle in gear, applied the e-brake or if his dog, which was in the car, had messed with either of those items, according to the police report.

No one was injured, including the rottweiler.


Forgot to put the car in park

A man’s car drove itself into an embankment and onto a beach after he jumped out to scare away an aggressive dog on May 23.

The man told police he had been driving north on Crystal Springs Drive about 10 a.m. when he saw a large dog becoming aggressive with an older woman. He pulled into the oncoming lane to try and scare the dog away, although he did not hit the dog, he said.

He then got out of his car to chase the dog away.

When he turned around, he saw his vehicle driving onto the beach.

The man said he realized he got out of the vehicle without putting it in park.

No one was injured.


Airlift after 40-foot fall

An employee for a moss removal company was flown to the hospital after falling 40 feet from a roof May 18.

The man had been cleaning a skylight, according to the police report. He had detached himself from the harness and was getting ready to climb down the ladder about 3 p.m. May 18, when a fellow employee heard his shoes start slipping on the roof.

The fellow employee told police he partially caught the man and broke his fall.

Police examined the ladder and did not find any “deficiencies.”


Traveling on someone else’s dime

Frontier Airlines called a woman about a flight purchase on her mother’s credit card.

The daughter, who has power of attorney for her mother, called to check on travel plans. Her said she did not have any travel plans and had not booked the flight.

She then found out the credit card had been used to buy 16 different flights in the country starting May 17.

The credit card has been cancelled and there are no suspects.

City eyes Sakai property for new police station

The Bainbridge Island Police Station on Winslow Way.
The Bainbridge Island Police Station on Winslow Way.

Locations for a new police station are back in front of City Council for discussion with a new site option.

The three places being considered are along Madison Avenue.

  • Sakai property on Madison Avenue near New Brooklyn Road, north of the land being bought by the island’s park district.
  • Property on New Brooklyn Road by the fire station headquarters on Madison Avenue.
  • Land north of the current City Hall.

None of the property options are owned by the city.

City Council also will discuss transferring Pritchard Park to the park district and future plans with the Suzuki property during Tuesday’s meeting.

Ostling bill signed into law, requiring more police training

Governor Jay Inslee preparing to sign the Ostling Act into law April 24. Bainbridge Island Officer Trevor Ziemba, far left, and Kitsap County Sheriff Gary Simpson, center, attended the signing. Ziemba testified in favor of the bill. (Photo by Legislative Support Services)
Governor Jay Inslee preparing to sign the Ostling Act into law April 24. Bainbridge Island Officer Trevor Ziemba, far left, and Kitsap County Sheriff Gary Simpson, center, attended the signing. Ziemba testified in favor of the bill. (Photo by Legislative Support Services)

The Douglas M. Ostling Act, a measure that will require all Washington law enforcement to receive crisis intervention training, became law when Gov. Jay Inslee signed the bill April 24.

Ostling, a mentally ill Bainbridge Island man, was shot and killed by Bainbridge Island police in 2010, and two years later a federal jury determined the city had not provided proper training for the officers, awarding the Ostling family $1.4 million.

The new law requires incoming police officers to receive eight hours of initial crisis intervention training starting in 2017, and two hours of additional training each year for all officers by 2021.

Since the shooting, Bainbridge Island’s newest police chief has been working to improve training and repair community ties.

Matt Hamner, hired in 2013, sent Officer Trevor Ziemba to Olympia to testify in favor of the Ostling bill. Ziemba is the department’s crisis intervention officer.

“We wanted to show our support of this bill,” Hamner said. “We want to do better, and we want to do the best we can for the community.”

Oversight committee next step in police relations

bainbridgepolicebadgeThe City Council is moving forward with discussions on forming a public safety committee with the support of the police chief and residents.

The public safety committee, which would be made of three council members, was suggested by council members to improve police oversight and communication between the department and community.

“We’ve made so many important strides,” said Kim Hendrickson, founder of the grassroots group known as Islanders for Collaborative Policing. “It’s a different department now, and there’s a real commitment at the top level of the police department to interact positively with the community.”

The committee’s specific role and responsibilities will be discussed at a following council meeting, said City Manager Doug Schulze.

When and how often the public would be given notice of the committee meetings also will be reviewed.

Islanders for Collaborative Policing started in 2011, when police and resident communication was “terrible,” Hendrickson said.

“Sadly, up until the shooting death of Doug Ostling, people just didn’t talk openly about the police department,” she said. “It wasn’t the culture on this island to have an open conversation about it.”

In 2010, Ostling was shot by Bainbridge Island police after calling 911. A judge later ruled the city didn’t provide officers proper training to interact with residents that have documented mental health issues, like Ostling, and Ostling’s family was awarded a $1 million settlement nearly two years after the shooting.

The police department faced other scrutiny under former Police Chief Jon Fehlman.

In 2011, the department hired a volunteer reserve officer — giving him a badge and the authority to carry a gun — who had a criminal history, including a misdemeanor assault charge and a weapons charge.

Fehlman was the Bainbridge Island police chief during each of these issues. He resigned in September 2012.

The current police chief — Matt Hamner — has been working to rebuild community relations since he was hired in 2013, he said, including designating a community resource officer earlier this year.

Hamner said he welcomes questions from the community and is working to provide a transparent department.

“I think it’s important that the community, with their elected representatives, are able to see the progress and good work the police department is doing,” Hamner said. “And this is a great venue to accomplish that.”

Under Hamner’s direction, the department has a new mission, new training and new ways to document complaints, among other changes.

Transparency is part of the department’s transformation, Hamner added.

While he and Hendrickson both said improvements have been made in the police department, they also agreed there is more work to be done.

Seeing an oversight committee is one more aspect Hendrickson wants to see.

“We’ve been waiting for this for years,” she said. “This is a huge step in the right direction, if it happens.”

Read an extended version about changes in the police department on the Kitsap Sun website.

Police blotter for April 3 edition

polie_blotter_logoBike wreck
A man saw a young teenage girl walking down Hyla Avenue with a bloody face, wearing a bike helmet March 18 about 7 p.m.
She told the man she had flipped over her bike’s handlebars while going down Beach Crest Drive nearby and was trying to walk home, according to the police report.
She appeared disoriented and “not fully aware of her surroundings.”
Police found the bike in the bushes along Beach Crest Drive, and the girl was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for “treatment of significant facial injuries and head trauma.”

Missing bench
A city maintenance worker reported property damage and a stolen bench at the Port Madison Trailhead on March 25.
There were axe cuts in one picnic table and two stumps in place of where an old wooden bench had been, the police report said.
The bench legs had been “hacked away” to remove it.
The damage is estimated to be $500.

Police blotter for March 27 edition

polie_blotter_logoThief settles debt
A neighbor on the 200 block of Ericksen Avenue told police he spotted a stranger with a flashlight around an oil fuel tank at a nearby office on March 16 about 11 p.m.
While on the way to the call, Officer Trevor Ziemba saw a man biking southbound on Ericksen Avenue with a “large five gallon water jug on the back” with red fluid. The fluid matched what was dripping from the business’ oil tank, which is used to heat a furnace.
The man admitted to taking the fuel for his boat and told police he had done it one other time at the same oil tank, but that he would “make things right with the owner.”
He also told police that he took the heating oil because it has a “lower flash point and runs the [boat] engine better.”
The business owner called police two days later to let them know the man had “settled up” with him for stealing the heating oil and he did not want to press charges.

Found gun
A cyclist commuting from the island to Poulsbo for work found a small handgun with bullets in a black case along Highway 305 on March 16 about 9 a.m.
Police picked up the gun from the cyclist and found no record or information related to the gun based on its serial number.

Police Blotter for March 20 Islander

polie_blotter_logoMultiple mailbox thefts
A neighbor along the 10000 block of Duncan Lane saw a smaller, four-door SUV parked at group of neighborhood mailboxes March 5 around 7 a.m. as she walked her child to the bus stop.
The woman told police that when she walked toward the SUV, it drove to the next group of mailboxes and the driver reached into the mailboxes.
The next day she saw the SUV again taking mail from the mailboxes.
There also were piles of potentially stolen and discarded mail reported on March 6 along Miller Road near Bergman Road and two other incidents on North Madison Avenue, one which included stolen medication, according to Bainbridge Island police reports.
There was an earlier report of stolen mail on the 600 block of Winslow Way E on March 1.