Tag Archives: Bainbridge Island Police Department

Bainbridge Island police blotter, July 2

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

Crime log stats from June 22 to June 28: 5 traffic accidents, 2 thefts in the second degree, 2 driving with license suspended/revoked in the third degree, 2 suspicious incident/investigation, 2 residential burglaries, 2 miscellaneous, 1 domestic verbal, 1 violation of the uniform controlled substance act-more than 40 grams of marijuana, 1 burglary in the second degree, 1 patrol check, 1 theft in the first degree, 1 identity theft, 1 false alarm-employee error, 1 hit-and-run/unattended property damage, 1 neighbor dispute, 1 malicious mischief in the third degree, 1 disorderly conduct, 1 malicious mischief in the first degree, 1 found property, 1 agency assist and 1 lost property.

June 30
Identity theft: A man living on the 7000 block of Fletcher Bay Road reported that he received several pieces of mail from a bank that he hadn’t opened an account with. A debit/Visa card with a pin code for online banking was in one of the letters.

Found property: A woman found some cash in the middle of the road and reported it to the police, who placed it in found property. The location and the amount of cash was redacted from the report.

Reckless driving/racing: An 85-year-old woman living on the 6000 block of Monte Vista Drive was reported to police for reckless driving. Another driver witnessed the woman driving all over the road and driving onto the curb at a roundabout. The reporting party said it was the second time she had seen the woman driving recklessly. When police caught up with the driver at her home, the woman said she had been under a lot of stress with family health problems. The driver also admitted to the officer that she had driven over the roundabout’s curve and that her mind had been occupied, which caused her to possibly daydream. The officer suggested to the woman that she may want to retest with the Department of Licensing and that she needed to drive more carefully.

June 28
Driving with license suspended or revoked in the third degree, failure to transfer title within 15 days: A 26-year-old man living on the 300 block of Shepard Way was stopped when an officer noticed an apparent expired license plate tab. The vehicle’s registration had expired in 2012 and the car was sold in November 2011. However, the vehicle was displaying a 2014 license tab. The driver admitted to the officer that he took the tab from his father’s Ford Ranger truck. When the officer ran the man’s name in the state’s database, it returned with the man being charged for a driving while license suspended/revoked in the third degree for failure to appear for unpaid tickets. The improper tab was removed from the man’s car by the officer.

June 27
Residential burglary: A woman living on the 800 block of High School Road reported someone had stolen two prescription bottles from her home’s bathroom. The woman believed she had failed to lock her apartment since there was no evidence of forced entry. One of the lost medicine bottles contained approximately 20 pills of Oxycodone and the other contained about 30 pills of Meloxicam. The woman said several people in her apartment complex were aware the woman needed medicine because of her recent foot surgery, which she still had a cast for.

Bainbridge Island police blotter, June 25

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

Crime log stats from June 15 to June 21: 3 false alarms with unknown cause, 3 suspicious incident/investigation, 3 domestic verbal, 2 miscellaneous, 2 found property, 2 identity theft, 1 malicious mischief in the third degree, 1 stalking, 1 theft in the second degree, 1 warrant arrest by outside agency, 1 malicious mischief in the second degree, 1 open door, 1 driving with no valid operator’s license, 1 mental investigation, 1 traffic accident, 1 theft in the third degree, 1 extortion in the second degree and 1 lost property.

June 23
Patrol check: A patrol check was requested by a business owner on the 9000 block of Sportsman Club Road. The owner requested extra patrols and a meeting regarding prowlers on her property.

June 21
Found property: A woman found a cell phone on Eagle Harbor Drive that belonged to a woman in SeaTac. When police tried to contact the out-of-town woman, the number was disconnected. The phone was placed in the department’s evidence as found property.

June 20
Identity theft: A woman withdrew cash from her bank’s ATM at 10:30 a.m. and discovered her account was overdrawn by more than $200. Someone had charged more than $1,000 in airline tickets from her account without her consent.

Theft in the third degree: A woman living on the 200 block of High School Road found that the lock on her storage unit had been broken and that two tents had been stolen. The tents were described as a four-person green Coleman-brand valued at $100 and an orange two-person valued at $35. The brand wasn’t known of the orange tent. Both tents were in a blue nylon duffel bag valued at $20. The storage unit was on the second floor of the complex. A police officer didn’t see any other storage units damaged.

Identity theft: A woman living in the 500 block of Homestead Lane reported her Visa card was used today at Snoqualmie Casino for a fraudulent charge of $527.99. The woman was notified of the theft by her bank.

June 19
Driving with no valid operator’s license: A 21-year-old Bremerton man, who was involved in a minor traffic accident with another vehicle, was issued a traffic citation for not having a driver’s license or any identification or paperwork with his name on it. There was also no record found for the man, who admitted driving in reverse on Baker Hill Road after he missed his turn for Palomino Drive. The man had caused a collision with a 30-year-old Poulsbo man driving a BMW.

June 18
Open door: The door to a Winslow Way business located on the 100 block was found open and unlocked. No one was in the store when an officer arrived after a family walking down the street noticed the open door. The officer left messages with the owner and also texted her. The officer could not secure the door since it only locked from the inside. The officer later checked on the business while she was on bike patrol and the door was locked.

Malicious mischief in the second degree: At Battle Point Park, someone used a black permanent marker to write letters and offensive words on four Park District vehicles, street signs and the mobile stage. This caused an estimated $1,200 worth of damage. A metal lift gate was also damaged and would cost $1,000 since it now hit a custom door. Photos of the damage were taken by the responding officer.

June 17
Theft in the third degree: A man who was moving to Hawaii and believed he was renting an apartment found he was a victim of a $4,149.59 scam when the man he was working with that claimed to be the property manager wasn’t legitimate. The man had taken steps to confirm the apartment’s location was legitimate through numerous emails, reference checks and filling out applications. Police discussed with the man how he could avoid future theft since the man had provided the suspect with his personal information for the apartment application.

Found property: A woman living on the 10000 block of Manitou Park Boulevard came to the police station to turn over drug paraphernalia that she had found. She handed a small, clear Ziploc bag with 40 small cotton balls inside a tree near the library at 10:30 a.m. Police tested the balls and one indicated the presence of amphetamine. The balls are often used to filter narcotics prior to intravenous use. The bag was placed into police property for destruction.

Warrant arrest by outside agency: The King County Jail called to confirm a warrant on a 43-year-old Seattle woman. The woman’s warrant charge wasn’t listed on the incident report.

Bainbridge police blotter, June 18

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

Crime log stats from June 8 to June 14: 6 traffic accidents, 4 thefts in the third degree, 3 miscellaneous, 2 mental investigations, 1 mailbox theft, 1 verbal dispute, 1 theft in the second degree, 1 found property, 1 assault in the fourth degree, 1 driving without a license, 1 suspicious incident/investigation, 1 lost property, 1 suspicious persons/situations, 1 patrol check, 1 reckless burning in the second degree, 1 harassment, 1 malicious mischief in the third degree, 1 identity theft, 1 warrant arrest by outside agency, 1 intoxicated person, 1 arson in the first degree, 1 false alarm, 1 driving under the influence, 1 agency assist.

June 16

 

Malicious mischief: At approximately 5:30 a.m., a family living on the 7000 block of Hidden Cove Road reported that they heard their car alarm go off after someone had broken the right rear passenger window of their vehicle. Although nothing was missing from the still locked vehicle when the residents inspected the broken window, they did see what appeared to be possible footprints left by a suspect. The estimated cost of replacing the window glass was $250.

 

June 14

 

Driving under the influence/liquor: A 31-year-old driver who lives on the 700 block of Madison Avenue was stopped for passing in a no-passing zone and was found to be driving under the influence of alcohol at the corner of Grow Avenue and Wyatt Way at 7:35 p.m. The officer observed the driver pass another driver going 48 mph in a 25 mph no-passing zone. The man said he had drank two to three beers while on the beach at Lynwood Center.

 

June 13

 

Warrant arrest by outside agency: The Bainbridge Island Police Department was contacted by the Kitsap County Jail to confirm a warrant arrest for a 24-year-old Port Orchard man. BIPD verified the man had a $5,000 bail for a driving while intoxicated arrest.

 

June 11

 

Malicious mischief: A man living on the 7000 block of Spring Ridge Road reported that someone cut 12 plants on his property with some type of trimmer. The man said he saw a man exiting out of the south gate of his property that afternoon. The man, who rode away on a bicycle, was white with a medium build and stood 6-foot-1. He also had brown hair and was wearing khaki shorts. The plants were started 10 years ago.

Bainbridge police blotter, June 11

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

Crime log stats from June 1 to June 7: 5 traffic accidents, 2 thefts in the third degree, 2 malicious mischiefs in the third degree, 1 harassment, 1 warrant misdemeanor, 1 found property, 1 residential burglary, 1 littering, 1 assault in the fourth degree, 1 mental investigation, 1 miscellaneous, 1 theft of bicycles, 1 verbal dispute.

June 9

Theft in the third degree: A 48-year-old woman living on the 200 block of Tormey Lane reported that her convertible car was broken into during the night. When she went to her vehicle in the morning, she found the seats reclined forward. All the items taken out of her glove compartment and storage areas were found on the seats. The only thing the thief stole was a universal car charger valued at $200. The woman’s car was also broken into in December.

June 7

Harassing phone call: A 65-year-old man living in the 3000 block of El Cimo Lane reported that he has been receiving calls left on his voicemail from a man with a heavy accent. The man says he’s from the Internal Revenue Service and is threatening legal action if the man doesn’t contact him. The man, who has saved one of the messages, said he ignores the calls.

June 6

Malicious mischief in the third degree: A Bremerton woman was having a pizza lunch with her family at Lytle Beach Park. When she returned to her car to place the pizza box inside, she noticed a car pulled abruptly into the parking space next to her and heard a loud noise as her car got hit. The woman noticed that her passenger side mirror had been folded in and that the driver of the other car, a 65-year-old man from Kingston, had hit her car when he opened his car door. When the woman confronted the driver, he told her if she hadn’t taken up three parking spaces this wouldn’t have happened. The man then walked down the length of her car on the passenger side, which the woman saw later and found a 6-inch key marks in the paint and a black rubber substance. The woman collected her family and immediately drove to the police department to report the incident. Officers were able to find the suspected driver and woman he was with soon after at the park, which has only four parking places. The couple were sitting on beach chairs with a table that had a bottle of wine. The man admitted grabbing the woman’s car mirror and folding it in to get into the tight parking place, as well as hitting the woman’s car as he exited his vehicle. When officers asked him to see his keys, the man only had a single key with a rubber grip. Damage to the woman’s car was estimated at $1,200.

Theft of bicycles: A 52-year-old man reported two bikes of his were stolen within the last three weeks. The first was stolen while it was left unlocked at the 400 block of Olympic Drive at the ferry terminal. The yellow Kuwahara mountain bike was left at 3 p.m. and when the man returned at 9 p.m. it was gone. On May 16, the man parked another bike, a black and white Specialized Hardrock, at the high school softball fields at 3 p.m. It was left unlocked as well.

June 1

Found property: The owner of a business located on the 5000 block of Rose Avenue reported that someone had left a stroller in front of his architecture business. The stroller had no name attached to it. An officer picked up the stroller and placed it into the police department’s evidence for safekeeping.

Bainbridge police blotter, June 4

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

Crime log stats from May 25 to May 31: 7 traffic accidents, 3 thefts in the third degree, 2 miscellaneous, 2 suspicious incidents/investigations, 2 mental investigations, 2 warrant arrests by outside agency, 1 driving under the influence, 1 open door/window, 1 assault in the second degree, 1 residential burglary, 1 theft in the second degree, 1 verbal dispute, 1 malicious mischief in the third degree and 1 found property.

June 2

Passing stopped school bus with red lights flashing: A woman described as a 25-year-old was reported to police for driving through a stopped school bus stop sign at 8:07 a.m. at the corner of Baker Hill Road and Lynwood Center Road. However, the license plate number given to police didn’t return to a registered vehicle.

June 1

Theft in the third degree: A 47-year-old woman who works on the 200 block of Madison Avenue reported to police that she accidentally left her car unlocked at 11:30 a.m. When she returned at 10:30 p.m., she noticed that her black Dell laptop valued at $250 and black rolling overnight laptop case valued at $150 were both missing. The car was parked behind a trail.

Malicious mischief in the third degree: A 40-year-old woman returned to find her 2014 Mazda Mx3 car had been involved in a hit-and-run collision while she shopped from 5 to 6:05 p.m. at a grocery store on the 200 block of High School Road. When she unlocked the car, the alarm beeped seven to 10 times. This alerted her that something had happened to her car while she was away. The front passenger door was no longer flush with the front panel. Also, the part of the car between the front tire and passenger door was severely scratched and buckled. The damage to the vehicle, which caused the door and car to not lock, is estimated at $1,000.

May 31

Traffic accident: A 29-year-old man living on the 10000 block of Winthers Road was the driver in a rollover vehicle collision in the area of Eagle Harbor Drive and Wimsey Lane. Although no one was with the vehicle when emergency personnel arrived, the man was tied to the collision by police through the scattered items found at the scene. Four fire crew and two police officers responded to the incident. Officers found two empty beer bottles and a small amount of marijuana in the car.

May 30

Theft in the third degree: A Quilcene woman who was visiting her mother discovered that her black Haiku-brand purse that contained her wallet, cash and other items was stolen out of her car while it was parked on Wing Point Road. The estimated market value of the purse is $130.

May 28

Hit-and-run collision: A 50-year-old woman who drove a 2013 Nissan Leaf parked her car at 7 a.m. in a car lot on Winslow Way. When she returned to her car at 7 p.m., she found a 10-inch scratch just above her vehicle’s left rear wheel.

UPDATED: Bainbridge police blotter, May 28

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***This report was updated at 7:30 p.m. May 28 for additional details and clarification.

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

Crime log stats from May 18 to May 24: 3 thefts in the third degree, 3 warrant arrests by outside agency, 3 traffic accidents, 2 thefts in the second degree, 2 driving with license suspended/revoked, 1 dangerous weapon on school facilities, 1 residential burglary, 1 runaway, 1 miscellaneous, 1 driving under the influence/liquor or drugs, 1 identity theft, 1 suspicious persons/situations, 1 verbal dispute, 1 suspicious incident/investigation, 1 mailbox theft, 1 found property, 1 criminal trespass in the second degree and 1 recovered stolen property.

May 26

Suspicious incident/investigation: A man living in the 8000 block of Hidden Cove Road arrived at his home at 10:30 p.m. to find his front door open. Nothing looked disturbed in the house. On May 23 at 1:15 a.m., the owner heard someone trying to gain entry into his home. When the man turned on his back patio light, he saw two figures running. The man didn’t report the May 23 incident to police the night it occurred.

Miscellaneous: Police found an unoccupied car running at 2:03 p.m. in a parking lot on the 5000 block of New Sweden Road. An officer then turned off the car and removed the key. The owner of the car, a 64-year-old man, was called by police but a message couldn’t be left since the man’s voicemail was full. Police also drove to the man’s house to find him but no one was home. Police placed the key into a temporary evidence locker. The car was still parked in the same location at 10:20 p.m. and police called the man’s home again at that time but still didn’t receive a response.

 

May 25

Driving while intoxicated: A 42-year-old Bremerton man was stopped at 1:30 a.m. for driving 74 mph in a 50 mph zone on Highway 305 near Hidden Cove Road. An officer smelled alcohol on the man’s breath, but the man refused to take a Breathalyzer test. The man was later booked for driving under the influence and taken to Kitsap County Jail with a $5,000 bail.

 

May 24

Criminal trespass: A pair of juveniles were seen by a night custodian trying to gain access to the Bainbridge High School gym at 1 a.m. One of the boys was described as having a thin build and about 16 to 18 years old. The intent of the boys was unknown.

 

May 23

Recovered stolen property: Police received a call from the Washington State Patrol that a white three-door Honda Civic with a stolen license plate was in-bound from Seattle to arrive at the Bainbridge ferry terminal at 10:20 p.m. The front license plate didn’t match the back plate. The 29-year-old Seattle man driving the car told police that earlier this year he was a victim of a car prowl and that the plates may have been switched then. Police told the man that switching license plates was a common tactic used by thieves to make detection harder. The officer recommended the driver file a stolen license plate report. Police removed the stolen back plate from the vehicle and booked it into police property.

Warrant arrest by outside agency: A Port Orchard police officer called Bainbridge Island Police to confirm a warrant on a 32-year-old woman he had pulled over. The woman’s warrant was for driving without a license in the third degree.

 

May 19

Assault in the second degree: A woman living on the 200 block of High School Road was hit in the face by a man who had being staying at her place the previous 10 days and cooking meals. No one else observed the assault.

Bainbridge police warn Subaru Legacy, Honda Accord, Civic owners

Due to a recent uptick in crime, Bainbridge Island Police Chief Matthew Hamner is urging owners of older Honda Accords and Civics, as well as owners of Subaru Legacy cars, to ensure that their vehicle is locked when they park it near or at the Bainbridge ferry terminal.

Models of the vehicles from 1995 to 2005 are being targeted the most.

Investigators believe the suspect or suspects drive to Bainbridge in a stolen car, park the vehicle on the island, walk on a Seattle ferry as a passenger and return later to Bainbridge to steal a different vehicle.

Police believe the thieves are able to steal the Honda and Subaru vehicles with little trouble because of their knowledge of the cars’ equipment.

Hamner said owners of these car models who park within proximity of the ferry need to be especially diligent in locking their cars and aware of their surroundings.

“Sometimes a few simple steps to secure your belongings can be enough to deter theft,” said Hamner, who has strong leads in the case.

According to the Puget Sound Regional Council, the Seattle-Bainbridge route in 2013 transported 6.3 million people, including 3 million walk-on passengers – more than any other Washington State Ferry route.

Bainbridge police blotter, May 20

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

Crime log stats from May 11 to May 17: 3 traffic accidents, 3 false alarms, 3 identity thefts, 3 thefts in the second degree, 3 miscellaneous, 2 mailbox thefts, 2 burglaries in the second degree, 2 residential burglaries, 1 driving while license suspended/revoked in the third degree, 1 found property, 1 failure to secure load, 1 domestic verbal, 1 reckless driving including racing, 1 theft in the first degree, 1 driving without a license, 1 threats, 1 harassment, 1 malicious mischief in the third degree, 1 agency assist, 1 mental investigation, 1 possession of drug paraphernalia.

May 19

Burglary-residential: A woman living on the 9000 block of Sands Avenue returned to her home at 5:40 p.m. to an uninvited man cooking in her kitchen wearing some of her clothes. The suspect also rearranged the woman’s clothing and had stayed the whole weekend at the woman’s place.

Warrant arrest by outside agency: A 38-year-old Montlake man was stopped for driving with a license suspended for third degree with a $2,500 bail. Snohomish County Jail confirmed the warrant with Bainbridge Police Department.

May 18

Driving while license suspended in the third degree: A 28-year-old man living on the 5000 block of Rockaway Beach Drive was stopped for going well over the 35 mph speed limit. The officer also revealed that the man was driving on a suspended driver’s license after failing to pay a traffic citation out of Florida several years before.

May 17

A 37-year-old man reported that his debit card was used without his permission by someone in Puyallup, who was attempting to make a purchase of $1,700 and $700 at a national electronics store.

May 15

Theft in the first degree: A hotel located on the 900 block of Hildebrande Lane reported unwanted guests from Whidbey Island had accrued a $30,000 bill since they arrived March 24, 2012. The credit card the couple was using had been declined. The couple had made several promises they would pay the bill but had failed to do so. The couple was booked into Kitsap County Jail with a bail of $50,000.

Bainbridge police blotter, May 13

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

Crime log stats from May 4 to May 10: 7 traffic accidents, 5 suspicious incident/investigations, 3 theft from motor vehicles, 2 malicious mischiefs in the third degree, 2 miscellaneous, 2 false alarms, 1 driving under the influence-alcohol, 1 driving while license suspended/revoked, 1 assault in the second degree, 1 lost property, 1 warrant misdemeanor, 1 missing person, 1 failure to transfer title of motor vehicle, 1 mental investigation, 1 recovered stolen property, 1 forgery/counterfeit, 1 agency assist, 1 patrol check, 1 vehicle prowling and 1 littering.

May 12

Failure to secure load: A 21-year-old man, who lives on the 10000 block of Sunrise Place, was stopped after a half case of beer fell out of his car and broken glass was strewn over the roadway at High School Road and State Route 305 at 10 a.m. The driver had put the half case in the back of the vehicle, but he didn’t close the car’s hatchback all the way. Two citizens came up with brooms, dust pans and garbage pails to sweep up the glass from the road, which caused the officer to cancel a request to Public Works.

Found property: A 1974 canoe was found on April 25 and was dropped off at the city dock by the Suquamish Police Department. The canoe was placed into custody and will be stored.

May 11

Driving while license suspended, expired registration: A 70-year-old Olympia man was cited for an expired vehicle registration while his car was parked at a fast-food restaurant on High School Road. The vehicle had expired in August 2013 and had a July 2013 report of sale. The driver had a suspended license in the third degree for unpaid tickets as of November 2011. He also had an active warrant out of Kitsap County for driving with a license suspended/revoked in the third degree with a $500 bail. The man was given a June 17 court date.

May 10

Driving while license suspended/revoked in the third degree, speeding: A 30-year-old Lynnwood man was stopped after an officer witnessed him driving at a high rate of speed going southbound from West Port Madison Road on State Route 305. Radar clocked the man’s car at 70 mph. The man previously already had his driver’s license suspended in the third degree for unpaid tickets. He issued a June 10 court date.

May 9

Driving under the influence/liquor: A 55-year-old man living the 600 block of Park Avenue was arrested for driving under the influence/liquor at 10:30 p.m. Officers had responded to a call of a truck pulling in front of a vacant house. When officers arrived, they saw a vehicle in a ditch, just north of Wing Point Way. The driver later walked out of his home on the 600 block of Park Avenue and said he had seen a large dog in the intersection, which caused him to swerve into the ditch as he tried to avoid hitting it. Officers could smell alcohol on the man’s breath, which caused the man to admit to drinking two beers with friends earlier that night on the south end of the island. The man provided two valid breath samples that measured .215 and .208. He was transported to Kitsap County Jail and booked with a $5,000 bail.

May 7

Burglary-residential, trafficking in stolen property, possessing stolen goods: A 29-year-old woman living on the 10000 block of Falk Road and a 29-year-old Bremerton man were arrested for burglary and are believed to responsible for at least some of the increase in Bainbridge residential burglaries in the first five months of 2014. In one incident, the man sold jewelry that was stolen from a house the woman was hired to clean.

Citizens’ Police Academy 9: Harbormaster, marine patrol, K-9, graduation

This is the ninth and final entry in a column about reporter Ethan Fowler’s participation in the Bainbridge Island Police Department’s Citizens’ Police Academy.

Keeping the waters surrounding Bainbridge Island safe is something Bainbridge Harbormaster Tami Allen and Bainbridge police officer/marine patrol officer Ben Silas continually focus on.

Allen, who will reach her 15th anniversary as the island’s harbormaster in July, said the Bainbridge Harbor Management Plan was started in 1999. It covers safety and navigation, water quality, anchorage and mooring, public access, maritime commerce and derelict vessel prevention.

Allen said she keeps tabs on 53 miles of water, which include four deep water bays. She said there’s more than 550 buoys around the island and that all of them require permits. She noted it took five years to log all of the buoys.

She said she’s always looking for volunteers for the Summer Dock Host program, where people greet boaters as they step off their boats and answer questions for them. Allen said one day last summer featured visitors who spoke 14 different languages.

She said she gets a lot of help with her job from volunteer harbor stewards, residents who live along the shoreline and call her when they see anything worthy of her attention.

Silas, who started working the same day 15 years ago as his future wife Carla for the BIPD, pilots the department’s 35-foot, state-of-the-art police boat. He said the boat was funded through a $640,000 Homeland Security grant in 2008 and has the ability to load a SWAT team on a Washington State Ferry.

When he first joined the force, Silas said he had no interest in boats but he has since grown to “really love it.” He said his jurisdiction extends halfway between Bainbridge and the nearest piece of land, however he has law enforcement powers for the whole state since Silas said there’s fewer resources for the water.

He said he goes riding around the island at least once a month and more frequently during the busy boating season.

For the final week of the two-month Citizens’ Police Academy, the group of about a dozen people gathered for a potluck dinner at the Queen City Yacht Club. The celebratory evening was highlighted by Officer Dale Johnson demonstrating the skills of his retired K-9 partner Rusty, who delighted a lot of the children of the academy participants.

Rusty was able to successfully find hidden money that had drug scents on them. During his career, the chocolate lab mix was used in 214 searches with 547 finds of controlled substances and or drug paraphernalia. He also assisted in 181 arrests.

Bainbridge Police Chief Matthew Hamner said he hopes to have another K-9 officer in the near future.

I truly enjoyed participating in the Citizens’ Police Academy and learned a new appreciation for police officers and greater understanding of the challenges they face. I was particularly impressed by how much Bainbridge officers treated academy participants like they were family. I will also miss the amazing treats that Officer Carla Silas, who organized the academy and scheduled the speakers, created weekly for us.

I highly recommend everyone in the community to try to find time to participate in a future Citizens’ Police Academy, which are generally offered yearly in the spring.

Citizens’ Police Academy 8: Use of Force

This is the eighth of nine entries in a column about reporter Ethan Fowler’s participation in the Bainbridge Island Police Department’s Citizens’ Police Academy.

Everything that you’ve learned or watched on a TV police drama you need to “wipe away” from your memory, Officer Trevor Ziemba emphatically told the Citizens’ Police Academy participants at the start of a recent class.

“This is just my job,” said Ziemba, who has more than 20 years of police experience and is the Bainbridge Police Department’s field training officer. “This is just a uniform I put on. I do everything in my day you do. I’m not a robot. I’m just a dad. I live on the island and have two kids.”

Ziemba talked about the use of force with Officer Jeff Benkert, who has 12 years of experience. Ziemba said he has 450 hours in police use of force and defensive training that’s not involved in shooting. He’s learned control holds, impending tactics, using a baton, pepper spray, neck restraints and ground survival.

Unfortunately, during their careers Ziemba said he and Benkert have known 26 police officer friends that have been “murdered” in the line of duty with most of those deaths happening to Washington state officers.

“We must be vigilant, prepared and motivated not to get an emotional reaction when someone yells at us,” Ziemba said. “There’s nothing I can do to train to take me away from being a human. I’m very educated. I’m not a guy who was bullied in high school. Most of our (society’s) contacts with law enforcement are negative, (such as) speeding, death in the family or crimes.”

Ziemba said an officer’s use of force is lawful under six conditions, according to the Revised Code of Washington 9A.16.20.

“The necessary force law states you must do what’s ‘reasonable,’” said Ziemba, the BIPD’s crisis interventionist officer.

Benkert said police officers must be prepared at all times. He talked about watching people’s body language. For example, he demonstrated that someone who wants to fight likely will go into a “fighting stance,” where they drop one leg and a side of the body behind the other. They may also clench their fists and teeth.

“Every fight a cop is in is a gunfight,” Benkert said. “Seventy percent of officers shot in the field are shot by their own gun in the head. A fist fight can cost your life. Action is faster than reaction.”

Added Ziemba: “I have to see those precursors, so I can fight for you and fight for another day.”

The two police officers then put on a disturbing YouTube video that showed two police officers being “murdered” by a suspect who they had pulled over. They followed that video with another one where a different officer in a similar situation was pulling over a guy driving a truck on a freeway. The officer noticed that the driver had a gun when the suspect pulled off the highway and was ready when the guy stepped out of the vehicle with a gun and started firing.

“It’s not the movies,” Benkert said.

Benkert said police follow what’s called the OODA Loop, which was developed by U.S. Air Force Col. John Boyd. Officers are trained to first observe, then orient, decide and act.

“We constantly go through scenarios,” Ziemba said. “We teach our officers to act because no action is never good. I don’t care if I’m shot in the face or head, (I’m) not dead yet. I’m not going to give up on myself. When we shoot someone, we train that they may not fall.”

The following Saturday, Citizens’ Police Academy participants got to experience some of the use of force tactics they learned about. Unfortunately, I was unable to attend this event, as well as a Saturday class visit to the county jail, dispatch center and coroner, but I heard both were quite good.

Citizens’ Police Academy 7: Kitsap Mental Health

This is the seventh of nine entries in a column about reporter Ethan Fowler’s participation in the Bainbridge Island Police Department’s Citizens’ Police Academy.

Breaking misconceptions and educating his audience about mental health issues were some of the things Kitsap Mental Health Services Crisis Response Team Supervisor Gary Clark achieved during his recent talk to participants in the Citizens’ Police Academy.

Clark, who has worked nine years with Kitsap Mental Health Services, said his department is responsible for detaining people diagnosed with mental health issues that pose a threat to public safety. People can also pop over to these guys to get timely advice.

“We usually respond within 30 minutes of a call,” said Clark, who noted the state requires agencies respond within two hours. “We go to them generally, but we don’t go out at night or alone anymore. Most of our staff is women.”

Although it varies widely, Clark said that Kitsap Mental Health Services receive 150-175 phone calls on average monthly and have about 80 face-to-face meetings. Clark said mental health professionals typically see clients either in jail, hospitals or homes.

“Most of our attention is on what’s real and what’s the real cause,” Clark said. “Drugs or family incidents can provoke these kinds of illnesses and the more they take these drugs the slower they recover.”

Clark did note, however, to keep in mind that street drugs, trauma and urinary tract infections often can cause people to suddenly “masquerade” as if they have mental illness. Having “access to clear facts” is pivotal, he said, to preventing a misdiagnosis.

He said jails can verify whether some inmates are able to get medicine for their mental illness, “but it’s a very narrow definition because they’re not treatment centers.”

“There’s no pain relief and no sleep aids,” Clark said of prisons. “The focus is on safety, not on treatment.”

The criteria categories for mental health that Clark said he follows are:

  • Danger or likelihood of serious harm, either to self, others or property;
  • Mental disorder or severe impairment;
  • Least restrictive alternative.

He encourages people to call early and often when they have new facts in a case.

“Capturing a case by accumulating facts over time may be preferable to one-call leads to an immediate detention,” Clark stated in a handout he distributed about chronic mental illness and the law. “Multiple calls demonstrate (an) issue isn’t a single episode but is evolving.”