BPD doubles women officer ranks — by hiring 1

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Michelle Greisheimer was sworn in at last night’s City Council meeting as Bremerton’s newest police officer. As a woman, she is a rarity in the department of about 60 officers.

She is one of only two fully commissioned officers, meaning her hiring doubled the ranks.

“I’m ashamed to say it’s true,” said Bremerton Police Chief Steve Strachan, who has trumpeted the need to bring in officers that reflect the community they serve since he started here two years ago.

The chief and Mayor Patty Lent also included $24,000 in the city’s budget this year to hire cadets to perform clerical tasks at the department. They must be enrolled in a postsecondary educational program like Olympic College, but the idea — aside from the administrative help — is that it would be a “new way of recruiting and hiring nontraditional candidates for law enforcement.”

Greisheimer, an Ohio native, worked for Seattle police for eight years — working at the Capitol Hill and Pioneer Square precincts — before moving to Chandler, Arizona, where she stayed for seven.

Prior to her career in law enforcement, she had joined the army and was stationed in Puerto Rico and Georgia before deploying to Kuwait, Strachan said.

 She married Christine, her partner of 10 years, when same-sex marriage was recognized in Arizona last year. The couple consider the Pacific Northwest home and jumped at the chance to relocate here with their young sons.

How important is it to you that Bremerton police hire women officers? Or, for that matter, people of differing backgrounds?

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