If you’ve spent time at Pendergast’s “Bark
Park,” you know about the charming fire hydrant to
which countless visiting dogs have, shall we say, laid
That is, until early last week, when the hydrant mysteriously
Kim Demko, a frequent visitor to the park with her dog, was
saddened to find it gone. The hydrant was the only permanent
“ornament” at the park, one she was told might be one day
incorporated into a water system should one be installed there.
“It was also a friendly confirmation
that you had actually arrived at the location of the dog park,” she
I had to wonder: who steals a fire hydrant? The thing
weighs about 500 pounds, so whoever did it came prepared. Demko
circulated word on Facebook about the theft. I inquired with the
As it turns out, it was no thief at all — just its
original owner bringing it out of retirement. Bremerton Public
Works crews snagged it to take some parts and repair a hydrant
damaged in a crash Sept. 2 at Almira Drive and Sylvan Way on the
“It was the only one left that we had,” said
Bremerton Public Works Administration Manager Milenka
And there’s good news for dog park users: the city
was able to place another hydrant out at the park Wednesday. Its
artful design (above, at the top of the page) was painted
by Darrell Clauson, a lead in public works’
wastewater and stormwater division.
Oh, and lest I forget, some improvements are coming
to the bark park. I’ll have more on that in an upcoming story
in the Kitsap Sun.
The street lights will stay on in Bremerton, and, city
officials hope, they’ll save some money too. At a
brisk meeting Wednesday night, the Bremerton City Council approved
the retrofit of 531 street lights with LED technology, meaning
they’ll last longer and require less maintenance.
The cost: $268,000. A state grant and a rebate from Puget Sound
Energy drops the cost to the city to $140,000, which officials say
will pay for itself in six years. The $194,000 installation cost
will be paid to the Consolidated Electrical Distribution company,
which has a Bremerton location.
You might remember the
demonstration project on Dr. ML King Way that spurred the
latest purchase, one spearheaded by Public Works Director Chal
Martin. There are a total of 1,619 street lamps in the city, so
many will still be of the traditional variety.
Also at Wednesday’s City Council meeting:
Sworn officers: Bremerton’s newest
lieutenant, Mike Davis, was sworn into office Wednesday night.
Davis, who grew up in Kitsap County, became a Bremerton officer in
1998; he’s trained fellow officers, instructed on defensive
tactics, been a detective and K-9 officer and, more recently, was
promoted to sergeant.
Put simply, Davis has been an integral part of criminal cases
that jolted the community conscience —
Arnold’s Fire and the
killing of Buddy the police dog. Police Chief Steve Strachan
read an email from retired Bremerton Police Sgt. Bill Endicott
at the meeting, who said Davis would provide the “professional,
ethical, and moral” tutelage for a new generation of officers.
Three sergeants — Tim Garrity, Aaron Elton and Keith Sargent —
were promoted Wednesday. (And, as Strachan pointed out, that means
the city now has a Sergeant Sargent.)
Also on Wednesday, Officer Jeff Schaefer was promoted to
corporal (for background on the position,
click here). Former Poulsbo Officer Jennifer Corn and former
Bainbridge Island Officer Mike Tovar were sworn-in as new officers
in Bremerton as well.
Chromium-6: Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent
addressed new fears that the
chemical has been found in unsafe levels in most every state in
the country. She claimed Bremerton’s drinking water is well under
federal limits. “We have a much lower (level) than current
standards,” she said. To see the city’s water quality, click
Public Works Turmoil: Councilman Greg
Wheeler talked about the
investigations that led to discipline among personnel in the
Public Works Department during his report. He said the Council
learned of the investigations because the Kitsap Sun was set to
publish a story, and that, though he’s the chairman of the City
Council’s Public Works Committee, the situation was appropriately
handled by Lent and the city’s administration.
He did add he was “very concerned about the morale of the city
staff and our employees” and that he hoped to see more
“communication and trust” being built. “This change starts at the
top,” he said.
Beautify Bremerton: The annual city “Beautify
Bremerton” day is from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Residents here,
as well as landlords, can take all yard waste free of charge to a
disposal site near Legion Field off Sheridan Road. There’s also an
army of volunteers and workers that will clean up parks and plazas
around the city, including the Pat Carey Vista, Madrona Trails and
medians near the Navy’s Farragut gate off Charleston Boulevard.
To see the full minutes and agenda of the City Council meeting,
Dog lovers are in for a treat downtown on
Saturday. A veritable who’s who of Kitsap’s police K9s
will trot onto Fourth Street and put on a show. The road will be
shut down and merchants up and down the block will be joining in the
celebration, from 12-5 p.m.
As you might know, the Horse & Cow once had a location in
Vallejo, close to the site of an old Navy base. The Buchanan family
goes way back with the Horse & Cow and owner Mike Looby, and
Gavin’s uncle Brett Miller lives in Port Orchard.
The event will help raise money for K9s right here in Kitsap,
with demonstrations by dogs and their handlers from the Bremerton
Police Department, Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office and Washington
Law enforcement can get messy
sometimes. Such was the case Wednesday, as officers
converged on the house of a man suffering a mental health crisis in
West Bremerton. As officers surrounded the place, a sergeant, Randy
Plumb, inadvertently stepped on an Iris in the neighbor’s yard.
“The very nice neighbor expressed
great thankfulness we were there doing our job, but also expressed
her displeasure in the sergeant stepping on her plants,” Plumb
wrote in his report of the incident.
Be sure to note that Sgt. Plumb
referred to himself in the third person, which Bremerton Police
Chief Steve Strachan believes might have been to “create a distance
from personal responsibility.” (If it isn’t obvious, the chief has
a good sense of humor.)
Plumb did indeed take personal
responsibility, however. Following “much grief” from colleagues
there, he drove to Bremerton City Nursery and purchased a brand
new, fully grown Iris for the neighbor, Jen Budis.
“When the Sergeant explained the
circumstances to the nursery employee, they laughed and insisted on
giving him a discount,” Strachan said. “With his tail between his
legs, Sgt. Plumb responded back to the neighbor’s house, offered an
apology, and presented the new iris plant.”
And Budis’ response? She took to
Facebook to share it.
And, more good news: Bremerton
police, with help of deputies from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s
Office, were able to help the man in crisis out of his home and the
situation was resolved safely.
Next time you get stopped by a Bremerton police officer,
take note of those stripes you see on his or her
OK, so that might not be the first thing on your mind if you’re
being pulled over. But the sleeve can tell you a lot about an
In Bremerton, it’s becoming a bit more nuanced. An officer who
makes the rank of sergeant has three blue “stripes” on the arm (see
photo below). But here in the city, you’ll soon see seven officers
who have two stripes (see photo above).
That review found flaws in the former “MPO” or “Master Patrol
Officer” program, whose participants could cover for sergeants to
run the shift. The review also found that not many officers were
looking to get into management roles, Strachan said Wednesday.
Strachan is hopeful the new rank not only introduces the seven
corporals to leadership roles but that it it inspires them to go
These will be the leaders of the department long after folks
like me are gone,” Strachan told the Council.
The department is also bringing back a third lieutenant
position — the next step up from a sergeant — which had been
the victim of budget cuts a few years ago.
There’s a lot of open positions right now in the police
department. Lt. Pete Fisher left to be chief of the Fife Police
Department, so they’ll have to fill two lieutenant spots. And the
city held a retirement ceremony Wednesday for Randy Olson, a
longtime sergeant and officer who’d been with the city since
“Part of me will always be a Bremerton police officer,” Olson
told the Council.
Bremerton Police Lt. Pete Fisher, who was often the
face of the department in times of crisis in the past decade, is
set to become the police chief of Fife.
Chief Steve Strachan announced the news in a department email
“That is a loss for us but a great
selection by Fife,” Strachan wrote. “Pete is a very talented leader
and we have been fortunate to work with him.”
Fisher, 44, started as a line officer in Bremerton in
1998. He made sergeant in 2004 and lieutenant in 2006, where he’s
remained. The job includes a lot of administrative work, including
making shift schedules, conducting serious collision investigations
and performing disciplinary reviews. Fisher also served as liaison
to Redflex, the company that runs the city’s
red light photo enforcement cameras.
“This has been a great city to work for,” Fisher said
Friday. “I’ve had a lot of support and mentorship here. It’s given
me the drive to want to become a chief. And I’m at the point in my
career where I’m ready to try the next challenge.”
Fisher, a New Hampshire native, spent four years
in the Air Force before moving to Puget Sound with his wife
Christine, who was in the Army and got stationed at Fort Lewis. He
started as a reserve officer in Ruston in 1994.
In case you missed it, here’s three
highlights from Wednesday night’s city council meeting, the first
of the year.
New cop on the beat
Derek Ejde was sworn in as the city’s newest police
officer (pictured). The North Kitsap High School graduate’s brother
Jordan is already a Bremerton officer, and their father, Andrew
Ejde, was a longtime Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputy. I did a story
on the brothers in November,
which you can read here.
A number of break-ins to businesses have been
reported in East Bremerton in recent weeks. Bremerton
Police Sgt. Rich Cronk told me that the burglaries remain under
investigation and police are hoping to find the culprits.
The recent burglaries are:
Sunny Teriyaki, 1221 Wheaton Way: A window was broken
out Oct. 15 and money was taken from a tip jar. Two cash registers
Andy and Cindy’s Diner, 3561 Wheaton Way: Suspects
got inside sometime between Oct. 16-17 and took a laptop, cash and
a power cord.
State Farm, 1100 Wheaton Way: A window was broken out
Oct. 26. Nothing was reported stolen.
Two Sisters Fine Jewelry, 1100 Wheaton Way: A window
was broken out and jewelry was taken sometime before 9 a.m. Oct.
Bicycle Works, 2109 E. 11th Street:
A door was forced open and a bike was stolen. The burglary was
reported the morning of Oct. 27.
If you have any information as to who is responsible,
police encourage you to call 911.
A video circulated Facebook recently showing a man
climbing atop a piling on the Manette Bridge and then plunging into
the chilly waters below. His jump, viewed more than
14,000 times, occurred not far from the Boat Shed restaurant, at a
point on the bridge that is lower to the water and close to the
Upon seeing the clip, some of you wrote me asking if there’s
anything stopping thrill seekers and others from doing the same
thing. The answer is that in the eyes of the city, it is considered
“mischief on bridges” — it goes for the Warren Avenue Bridge as
well — and it is indeed a crime.
I asked assistant Bremerton City Attorney Amanda Harvey, who
confirmed to me that such jumps are a misdemeanor, punishable by up
to 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine.
This, of course, isn’t the first time someone’s jumped from the
span. In 2009, a Bothell man told police he did it for the thrill.
He was arrested in that case.
But never mind the legalities — there’s also the danger
involved. Sadly, many have died or been injured jumping off the