Category Archives: Police

Third site lands on list for new police station

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

The city is considering third site option for a police station.

The newest property being considered is nearly 9 acres of undeveloped land “outside the Winslow core.”

City officials did not provide an address, general location or cost estimation for the property.

The two other locations still being considered are a .75 acre property on Madison Avenue, north of City Hall, and 1.89 acres along New Brooklyn Road by the Bainbridge Island Fire Department headquarters.

All three sites are large enough to accommodate police, municipal court and the Emergency Operations Center.

The newest site option would leave room for expansion or building other city facilities. The city also could sell part of the property to reduce the overall project cost.

A “significant amount” of the land is buildable, although a portion is unbuildable, said City Manager Doug Schulze.

The site near the fire station headquarters could require a two-story building, resulting in a “loss of operational efficiency.” The land also has a slight slope, requiring a retaining wall.

The Madison Avenue property near City Hall does not have room for expansion, and would require a two-story building. The property is “marginally large enough for the police facility and required parking.”

While the Madison Avenue property is the smallest, it is closest to City Hall and would allow for a government campus.

Having a campus was one of the reasons city officials declined to build a joint station with the fire department. Council members also voiced concerns with being a tenant of the fire department.

Keeping the police station close to City Hall also allows for accountability, Schulze said.

“The citizens of the community have concerns about unnecessary use of force and expect police officers to be skilled in tactful communication, de-escalation, and crisis intervention,” according to Schulze’s memorandum to the council.

The city plans to make a final site selection by the end of June.

Police blotter for Feb. 27 islander

polie_blotter_logoDog poop smeared under car handles
After an argument between guests at a bed and breakfast and neighbors about where to park on the 11200 block of Wing Point Drive, dog feces were found smeared under the guest and his family’s car door handles on Feb. 20.
The neighbor was upset the guest had parked in her driveway while he waited for family members to leave the bed and breakfast. The guest told police he had only planned to leave the car there for a few minutes.
The neighbor said she did not put the dog feces on the car, “but that dog feces is common in the neighborhood.”

Can’t drive after smoking pot
Officer Sias found a an 18-year-old woman and 20-year-old man smoking pot in a parked car at Rotary Park ball fields off Weaver Road about 10:30 p.m. Feb. 24.
Sias’s report said he was concerned the man, who was in the driver seat, was going to try and drive after smoking. After he told them they couldn’t drive away, the woman had her mother come pick them up.

Cutting in line with a concealed weapon
After a pickup truck driver was confronted for cutting in line at the Winslow ferry terminal Sunday and said he had a concealed weapon, he drove off pointing his hand in the shape of a gun at the complaining man.
A man saw the white GMC pickup truck cut in line, grabbed a “report something” card from the ticket booth and put it on the truck’s windshield. That was when the driver told him he had a concealed weapon.
The man told police he was startled by the statement and finger pointing at first, but did not feel he was being threatened. He added that the driver was with his family and might have feared someone approaching the vehicle.

DUI with child, dogs in car
After reports of an SUV swerving into oncoming traffic on Highway 305, police found the vehicle — and its driver — in a parking lot Wallace Way off Madison Avenue just after midnight Monday morning.
Officer Ben Sias saw a woman, small child and two small dogs walking away from the Ford Explorer, which was not in a parking spot.
While the child said the dogs had been loose in the SUV, the woman told Sias she had about three drinks at an event in Indianola and the family had brought two cars.
The woman was slurring her words, had blood-shot eyes and was swaying, the report said.
After performing several sobriety tests, Sias asked the child to take the dogs into the apartment. After the child was gone, he arrested the woman.
She had blood alcohol breath samples that measured .179 and .172.

Police blotter for Feb. 20 Islander

polie_blotter_logoFireworks used to blow up mailboxes
Mailboxes on Bainbridge Island were recent targets of firework vandalism.
Bainbridge Island Police responded to three separate calls of exploding mailboxes on Feb. 10 — one on the 15700 block of Euclid Avenue, one on the 12200 block of North Madison Avenue and another on the 7100 block of Eagle Harbor Drive.
Reserve officer Mike Chamness heard a large explosion near Captain Johnston Blakely Elementary School that sounded like a firework or M-80 about 12:30 a.m. that day.
As another officer checked the neighborhood around the school there were multiple 911 calls about other firework explosions on the island.
A damaged mailbox was found shortly after on Euclid Avenue along with “remnants of an explosive device” that could have been a sparkler bomb, according to the report.
While a neighbor told police the mailbox owner had a dog that was not well liked in the community, other mailboxes on the island were blown up with similar fireworks later in the day.

Police blotter is back

polie_blotter_logoWe are bringing back the police blotter.

I’ll be posting weekly entries on Mondays. If there is a Monday holiday it will moved to Tuesday.

I won’t be typing up every reported crime. The Islander blotter will be similar to the Kitsap Sun’s Code 911 reports.

If you have questions about why an incident was or wasn’t in the blotter email me at

Mail prowler on Bucklin Hill Road
A woman saw a man going through her and her neighbor’s mailbox around 5 p.m. while walking her dog home Jan. 22 on the 7800 NE Bucklin Hill Road.
The man had been cleaning the neighbor’s driveway when she walked by earlier, and he appeared to be with a window cleaning company, she told police.
The woman said she watched the man open the box, take out the contents and throw the box on the ground, before running after him and confronting him.
After he handed her the contents and told her he was just putting it back, she called 911.
The man was gone by the time police arrived, the report said.

Lockbox cut at waste facility
An employee of Bainbridge Disposal got to work Monday, Jan. 26 around 8:30 a.m. and discovered the gate unlatched and the lockbox cut open.
The lockbox had been intact the Friday before.
The employee was not sure if anything was missing from the lockbox, and the company is reviewing its surveillance video, the police report said.

Driver sends pedestrian spinning
A man walking across Hildebrand Lane in the crosswalk by Highschool Road Jan. 26 about 1:30 p.m. when he was hit by a vehicle, spinning him around and injuring his left arm. The man told police the driver stopped to shake his fist at him before diving south on Hildebrand Lane.
The man described the driver as an asian man in his 40s.
There was no description of the vehicle in the police report.

Community resource officer could help mend relationships with residents

 Bainbridge Island Police Department evidence technician Jennifer Cooper, Lt. Chris Jensen and Reserve Officer Mark Crowthers inspect ammunition turned in by a Bainbridge resident in 2013. TAD SOOTER / KITSAP SUN
Bainbridge Island Police Department evidence technician Jennifer Cooper, Lt. Chris Jensen and Reserve Officer Mark Crowthers inspect ammunition turned in by a Bainbridge resident. TAD SOOTER / KITSAP SUN

Bainbridge Island Police Department is looking to improve its once rocky relationship with residents through a designated community resource officer.

“When you have that good relationship of trust between officers and the community, we’re more effective,” said Police Chief Matthew Hamner.

City Council unanimously gave the department the go-ahead to apply for a federal grant that would cover 75 percent of the $100,000 annual salary and benefits of the community resource officer for three years. The department would cover the full cost the fourth year.

The community resource officer would be responsible for community related events and programs with the department, such as the citizen police academy, neighborhood watches and the police youth advisory group.

The community resource officer would be a liaison for the island schools, although it would be up to the schools how often the officer meets with students.

While the district has been without a school resource officer for more than a decade, there might not be a great demand for one just yet.

The district recently determined students and parents felt safe at the schools based on surveys and meetings with the police department, said Galen Crawford, communications specialist with Bainbridge Island School District.

Although residents don’t have a safety concern for the schools, community trust in the police department was waning and the City Council was split on whether to support a school resource officer before Hamner became chief in June 2013.

In May 2011, the council stalled in a 3-3 vote to apply for a school resource officer grant.

The city manager at the time, Brenda Bauer, blamed a Facebook post by Officer Michelle Vollmer for turning the council against the grant, a post Vollmer said was a joke.

Vollmer’s Facebook comment was one of a string of issues the Bainbridge Island Police faced.

In October 2010, a Bainbridge officer shot and killed a mentally ill man during a welfare check, ending in a $1.4 million lawsuit settlement and a federal jury finding the city and then Police Chief Jon Fehlman at fault for not providing enough training for handling situations with mentally ill residents.

Another officer — president of the Bainbridge police guild at the time — was accused of harassing City Council members the same month as the fatal shooting.

During the summer of 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.

City Council learned about the reserve officer’s background a couple months after he was hired, and he was asked to resign.

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

Public support for the police department has been increasing, Hamner said, citing the council’s approval for a community resource officer and the police department having more residents apply for the citizen police academy than there were spots available.

“I think the chief has shown he has the best interest of this community and our children at hand time and time again,” said resident Dominique Cantwell, a former board member of the Bainbridge Youth Services.

A full story on the community resource officer grant will be available on the Kitsap Sun website.

This post has been updated to include a response from the school district.

Council narrows site options for police headquarters

Bainbridge Island police car

City Council nixed two locations from its site list for a new Bainbridge Island Police headquarters Tuesday night.

The council discussed four different options, removing the Visconsi development location and the city-owned gravel lot by City Hall, because both sites were viewed problematic locations.

Expansion at the gravel lot could affect future retail development options downtown, while the Visconsi location was seen as too far away from City Hall as well as having potential traffic issues.

The two locations still being considered are a site on Madison Avenue, adjacent to the north of City Hall, and 1.89-acres along New Brooklyn Road by Bainbridge Island Fire Station 21 on Madison Avenue, which was assessed for $232,000. A nearby 2.1 acre parcel to the New Brooklyn Road site sold for $1.3 million in November 2013, according to city documents.

The city will not provide any additional information on the property north of City Hall at this time, said City Spokeswoman Kellie Stickney.

Last fall, City Council voted 5-2 against a joint police and fire station.

City Manager Doug Schulze said the goal was to have the police headquarters near City Hall, while other council members voiced concerns about being a tenant to the fire department.

A Seattle architectural firm presented the idea of a joint facility by the fire station along New Brooklyn Road, where the city is considering purchasing 1.89 acres for a police station.

The architectural firm found in June that building a joint facility would cost $15.3 million, versus $17.6 million for building them separately. A June phone poll of 200 island residents found 87 percent favored a combined facility.

While location was the primary concern for the Visconsi location, couple council members had issue with the price tag of the site as well.

The Visconsi $2.05 million price tag includes the land, cost of a new road, utilities and project costs.

Bradley Goldberg, vice president of development, told Schulze in an email earlier this month there would need to be a “quick close” in 60 to 90 days to sell the city the land at $2.05 million.

Councilman Wayne Roth said he saw the Visconsi development offer as a “really strong invitation not to located there,” because the city had repeatedly asked for more information and a presentation nearly two months ago that were never provided.

The city had asked about the option to own the land after a lease, but was instead given a rent option.

Last month, Visconsi developers sent the city a letter of intent, outlining a general 20-year rental agreement with the city. The 24,500 square-foot building would be two stories. Rent would start at $943,250 a year and increase 10 percent every five years, being about $1.255 a year after 15 years, totaling more than $21 million over 20 years. The city would have the option to renew the lease every five years before an increase with the ability to end the lease with one year notice.

The city would be responsible for traffic impact fees, wiring and building the interior, including drywall, first floor slab, flooring and lighting.

The city is continuing to seeking other sites.

This post was updated to correct who owns the property on Madison Avenue by City Hall and typos from the City Council agenda, including information for the New Brooklyn Road property.

Experience a day in the life of a Bainbridge Island cop

An America's Most Wanted television crew sets up in the intersection of Winslow Way and Highway 305 on Bainbridge Island Thursday morning. In the police car is Bainbridge Island Police Officer Steve Cain who was involved in the car chase.
An America’s Most Wanted television crew sets up in the intersection of Winslow Way and Highway 305 on Bainbridge Island Thursday morning. In the police car is Bainbridge Island Police Officer Steve Cain who was involved in the car chase.

If you are interested in learning first hand what your local law enforcement does, apply for a hands-on learning experience with the Bainbridge Island Police Department. And it’s free.

The Citizens’ Police Academy is designed to show residents how the department functions, including everything from traffic enforcement, narcotics and criminal law to defensive tactics and investigations.

“The program was started to give citizens insight into what officers do while on patrol. It’s a great opportunity, as students get to gain a perspective of what happens behind the scenes, while also having the opportunity to get acquainted with some of the officers who serve them,” Chief of Police Matthew Hamner said in a news release.

While the academy is not intended to prepare people for a career in law enforcement, it is an opportunity better understand the job of local officers.

The academy is offered once a year. This year’s program runs on Tuesday nights from Tuesday, Feb. 10 through Tuesday, April 14. Classes are two hours long and start at 7 p.m. There are two optional Saturday sessions.

Students also have the opportunity to visit the CenCom 911 dispatch center, the Kitsap County Coroner’s Office and the Kitsap County Jail.

The class size is limited to 20 students.

For questions or an application, call the Bainbridge Island Police Department at 206-842-5211 or visit the department’s website.

Help us rank the top 10 Islander stories of 2014

The tugboat Pacific Knight helps maneuver the state ferry Tacoma to the Bainbridge Island dock after it lost power while making the 12:20 p.m. sailing from Seattle to Bainbridge on July 29, 2014. MEEGAN M. REID / KITSAP SUN

We are asking readers to rank the top Bainbridge Islander stories from this past year in a survey. The top 10 will be posted on this blog.

You can take the survey here.

If you need to refresh your memory on a story,  they are listed below in no particular order with links:


Bainbridge Island police blotter, Nov. 26; UPDATED


* – The motor vehicle theft incident on Nov. 24 was updated at 4 p.m. Nov. 26 with the recovery of the stolen car.

The following items were taken from Bainbridge Island Police Department incident reports by reporter Ethan Fowler. For more blotter, visit and click on Bainbridge blog link on the right side of the screen.

Crime log from Nov. 16 to Nov. 22: 4 miscellaneous, 3 harassments, 2 driving under the influence, 1 agency assist, 1 outside agency referral for Child Protective Services, 1 theft in the third degree, ​1 kidnapping in the second degree, 1 vehicle prowling in the second degree, 1 driving while license suspended/revoked in the third degree, 1 failure to transfer vehicle title, 1 domestic verbal, 1 false alarm unknown cause, 1 burglary in the second degree, 1 suspicious incident/investigation, 1 warrant arrest by outside agency, 1 mental investigation, 1 identity theft, 1 runaway, 1 hit and run-attended property damage and 1 traffic accident.

Nov. 24
Lost property: A 39-year-old woman who lives on the 10000 block of Falk Road lost her driver’s license while she was traveling to Illinois for Thanksgiving. She reached out to the Illinois Secretary of State and in order to rent a car she needed a police report.

Motor vehicle theft: At 8:32 a.m. a 54-year-old woman living on the 100 block of Harbor Square Loop reported that her 2007 Chevrolet was stolen. The woman was a victim of a car prowl on Nov. 4 that netted her car keys. The car was parked in a secured parking garage that only could be entered by knowing an electronic fob. The woman had re-keyed the car’s ignition but not the door locks. BIPD informed the woman they had recovered her vehicle at 1 a.m. Nov. 26.

Nov. 23
Criminal trespass in the second degree: A 51-year-old woman living on the 100 block of Wallace Way reported that sometime between 9 p.m. and midnight that she had heard noises in her backyard of someone trying to open her backyard gate. The gate is not secured by a lock but by a bungee cord to keep the door closed. When the woman went downstairs to investigate what caused the noises she found a young white male wearing either a dark gray or navy blue hoodie sweatshirt standing at her back door. The young man had what appeared to be a small metal object in his hand, possibly a key to her home. Before the man could enter her home, the woman yelled at the man and banged on the window, which startled the man and caused him to flee in an unknown direction.

Suspicious incident/investigation: A male subject, whose age wasn’t listed in the report, was asked to leave his current residence when the woman who owned the home was hospitalized and expected to remain in the hospital for an extended period. The man became upset when the homeowner’s sister told him that he needed to move out. The man then started sending the sister text messages with photos of damage to the house that he said was caused by someone breaking into the house when he wasn’t there. The sister said the man was a drunk and owned a gun, and that she required 24/7 police protection from the man. The officer said 24/7 protection couldn’t be given due to the size of the BIPD force, but night patrols would be added in front of her home.

Nov. 17
Theft in the third degree: A 70-year-old woman living on the 7000 block of Hidden Cove reported on Nov. 22 that two packages delivered to her home at 2:58 p.m. were missing. The packages included Roselle Abramowitz-brand clothing made by the artist valued at $565 for the woman’s business. In addition to the clothing, the theft also included jewelry, bags and accessories.

Bainbridge Island police blotter, Nov. 19


The following items were taken from Bainbridge Island Police Department incident reports by reporter Ethan Fowler. For more blotter, visit and click on Bainbridge blog link on the right side of the screen.

Crime log from Nov. 9 to Nov. 15: 6 traffic accidents, 4 thefts in the third degree, 2 motor vehicle thefts, 2 suspicious incident/investigation, 2 found property, 2 outside agency referrals-Child Protective Services, 2 motor vehicle thefts, 2 miscellaneous, 1 identity theft, 1 malicious mischief in the third degree, 1 domestic verbal, 1 vehicle prowling in the second degree, 1 reckless driving including racing, 1 burglary in the second degree, 1 warrant misdemeanor, 1 false alarm, 1 warrant arrest by outside agency, 1 runaway, 1 theft in the third degree-shoplifting, 1 Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act-marijuana 40 grams or less, 1 criminal trespass in the second degree, 1 open door, 1 driving under the influence-liquor, theft in the second degree and 1 lost property.

Nov. 16
Driving while intoxicated/alcohol: A 29-year-old Port Townsend man was stopped for speeding on State Route 305 at 1:42 a.m. The man was clocked by radar driving 68 mph in a 50 mph zone. The officer smelled alcohol on the man’s breath. The physically upset man later admitted through slurred speech that he stopped drinking only 30 minutes before attempting to drive home and that he had drank “a lot” of alcohol. The man recorded a .178 percent and .188 percent on a Breathalyzer test. He was transported to Kitsap County Jail for DUI with a $5,000 bond. The legal limit for alcohol in Washington state is .08 percent.

Nov. 15
Theft in the third degree/shoplifting: A 45-year-old man who lives on the 10000 block of Sunrise Drive was stopped for shoplifting at 1:06 p.m. at a Winslow Way grocery store. The man had been asked to return to the store after taking two cups of coffee from the café area without paying for them. The suspect, who was highly agitated and has mental issues and drug addiction, was familiar to the responding officer due to the numerous contacts he’s had with police. A store security officer told the man that he was not allowed into the business again or he would risk arrest for criminal trespass.

Found property: A 62-year-old woman found a Wave2Go ferry pass belonging to a 23-year-old woman at a Winslow museum. An officer tried three times to return the card to the woman at her last known address, but she no longer lived there. A call was also made, but her phone number was disconnected. The card was placed into police evidence.

Driving while intoxicated/alcohol: A 48-year-old Bellevue woman was stopped at 10:27 p.m. on State Route 305 off Winslow Way for speeding. Radar recorded her driving 75 mph in a 50 mph zone. She also failed to maintain her lane, crossing the double yellow line. An officer smelled a faint odor of alcohol on her breath and later the woman blew breath samples of .085 percent and .089 percent. The woman later admitted that she had five drinks of rum starting at approximately 5 p.m. She was transported and booked into Kitsap County Jail and her vehicle was impounded.

Nov. 14
Miscellaneous: neighbor dispute: A 70-year-old man living on the 10000 block of Manzanita Road was having a dispute with a woman neighbor and her son regarding several large evergreen trees that are on his property. The man hired an arborist to assess the risk and the arborist determined removing some of the trees’ branches was the proper course of action in lieu of cutting down the trees. The man said the trimming would keep the trees’ branches from falling on his neighbor’s home. However, the neighbor wanted the trees cut down. The officer told the neighbor her dispute was a civil matter and would have to be dealt with by her attorney.

Nov. 12
Burglary in the second degree: Unknown suspects damaged the exterior door in the orthopedic area of a doctor’s clinic on the 300 block of Winslow Way in an attempt to gain entry. The incident occurred overnight. It appeared the suspects tried to pry the door open.

Vehicle prowling in the third degree: Sometime overnight, two unlocked vehicles were entered and items were taken on the 1000 block of Nakata Place. Items included a $25 black ski jacket and several house keys from various residences on the island. Due to all the keys involved and the locks needing to be changed, the man who lost the keys estimated the theft would cost $1,200.

Bainbridge Island police blotter, Nov. 10


The following items were taken from Bainbridge Island Police Department incident reports by reporter Ethan Fowler. For more blotter, visit and click on Bainbridge blog link on the right side of the screen.

Crime log from Nov. 2 to Nov. 8: 3 vehicle prowling in the second degree, 3 malicious mischiefs in the third degree, 3 traffic accidents, 2 false alarm unknown cause, 2 found property, 1 domestic verbal, 1 residential burglary, 1 suspicious incident/investigation, 1 theft in the second degree, 1 hit and run unattended property damage, 1 dealing in child pornography, 1 suspicious persons/situations, 1 Violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act – marijuana 40 grams or less, 1 miscellaneous, 1 warrant arrest by outside agency, 1 runaway, 1 theft in the third degree.

Nov. 8

Theft in the third degree: Between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m., someone came onto the property of a home located at 10000 block of Sunrise Drive and stole one of two cement cats displayed outside the home. The cats are approximately 18 inches tall and heavy. The female homeowner believed someone was casing the house and was looking for a spare key under the cement cats. When the woman told her neighbor about the theft, the neighbor discovered she was missing a 4-foot-tall cooper pole with a green glass fern valued at under $100. The fern was valued at $80. No other items appeared to be taken or disturbed.

Nov. 6

Warrant arrest by outside agency: A warrant for a 30-year-old man who lives on the 8000 block of Carmella Lane was confirmed at 6:19 p.m. by BIPD for the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office. The man had outstanding warrants from other jurisdictions in addition to his BIPD warrant for a driving while license suspended in the third degree.

Nov. 4
Theft in the second degree: A 65-year-old woman reported that a fraudulent charge of $175 from a High School Road grocery store had been charged to her credit card on Oct. 23. The woman believed the theft occurred when someone stole her purse while she was teaching. The woman said no other fraudulent chargers were made to the account since Oct. 23 and that she had canceled or replaced all her credit/debit cards, driver’s license and military identification.

Malicious mischief in the third degree: An early childcare and family support services center located on the 300 block of Madison Avenue reported graffiti, theft and vandalism occurred sometime after closing for the weekend, from Oct. 31 until reopening Nov. 3. Wooden stumps used as playground equipment were pulled up and out of the ground and tossed around, the bell used to call children was missing and parts of the fence were broken. Also, someone etched the word “books” into the front window of the center.

Theft in the third degree: A 54-year-old woman who lives on the 100 block of Harbor Square Loop noticed that her car door was slightly open. A red leather heart-shaped key ring with a car key that was on the passenger seat was missing, as was a key chain with a big green Lego piece with her Post Office box key and storage unit keys.

Nov. 3

Vehicle prowling in the second degree: An 80-year-old woman parked her unlocked vehicle at 5 p.m. Nov. 3 in a parking garage on the 100 block of Harbor Square Loop. When she returned to her car at 11 a.m. Nov. 4, she noticed items that were in the car’s console and glove box were now sitting in the seats. Approximately $1 in change was missing, as was a library card. The woman has since replaced her library card.