Deputy police chief retires early

The Bainbridge Island Police Department’s first ever deputy chief will retire a year earlier than anticipated so he and his family can move to the east side of the state.

Deputy Chief Mark Duncan will end his 30-year career in law enforcement on Tuesday when he takes a nearly two-month leave of absence before his official retirement in late November.

“We plan to move east of the mountains, and that isn’t an easy commute in the winter time,” Duncan said. “I’m retiring because we’re moving out of the area, and so I’m (leaving) a year before I normally would.”

He was hired as the BIPD’s first deputy chief in October 2006 to assist Chief Matt Haney with the day-to-day operations of the department. Duncan’s position allowed Haney to devote more time to police budget work, department planning and communication with city leaders.

Duncan served as acting chief for two and a half months while Haney filled-in as the city administrator earlier this year.

Duncan’s retirement “will be a huge loss for the department,” said Haney. “I was hoping I’d retire before he did, and my ultimate goal was that he’d remain here as my right hand person for the foreseeable future. But things happen and I’m happy for him.”

Before joining the BIPD, Duncan spent 23 years with the Port Orchard Police Department, achieving the rank of commander.

He also served the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office for three years and the Mount Vernon Police Department for two years.

“After 30 years and four months of this, it doesn’t seem that early to retire,” the 51-year-old said.

Duncan grew up in central California and Mercer Island. He earned a degree from the University of Washington in the late 1970s.

Duncan recently sold his Port Orchard home and is now splitting his time between his RV and a residence he owns in Cle Elum. He plans to move to Spokane and then possibly out-of-state.

“I have a great respect for the employees of Bainbridge Island police and was very happy as a city employee,” he said.

The city last week posted job advertisements to refill Duncan’s post. Haney hopes to have a new deputy chief named by Dec. 1.

One thought on “Deputy police chief retires early

  1. Deputy Chief Duncan was always professional and intelligent in his dealings with both the public and the press. In fact he was the de facto face of BIPD during his tenure. I am sad to hear of his departure. I had hoped he would fleet up to BIPD Chief position.

    We have 24% too much COBI staff. Let’s eliminate this position and give some of the function to Chief BIPD and the rest drive down to the lieutenants. I am sure the DepChief position is very $$$.

    If he has two months leave to use, he probably has one week on the beat.

    Good luck East of the mountains. Beautiful place and little of the BI mania.

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