Tag Archives: Bainbridge police

Breaking down the Monday highway closure


A head-on collision just south of the Agate Pass Bridge closed Highway 305 for nearly four hours Monday afternoon. Two drivers were airlifted to Harborview Medical Center and remained in serious condition Tuesday afternoon.

Response to the collision closed the highway in both directions from about 2-5:30 p.m. Monday. Backups stretched for miles.

We’ve heard from a few frazzled commuters and followers on social media wondering why the highway remained closed for so long after the drivers were evacuated. It’s a fair question, and I thought it would be interesting to break down what goes into a response of this nature, according to first responders:

  • The collision was reported at 2:09 p.m. Monday by Bainbridge Fire Assistant Chief Luke Carpenter, who happened to driving from the island to a meeting in Bremerton at the time. Carpenter was only a few cars behind the sedan involved in the collision when the wreck occurred.
  • About 20 firefighters responded to the scene. The drivers were trapped in their vehicles and had to be cut free. Both drivers were transported away from the scene by 2:35 p.m. The last fire department vehicle cleared at 3:06 p.m. (This aerial image from KOMO nicely illustrates the scope of the scene). Continue reading

Police chief forum tonight; fraud prevention workshop Friday

The city will host two police-related outreach programs this week. The first is a forum on the search for a new police chief, as we noted with a brief last week:

Bainbridge seeks input on new police chief

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND — Bainbridge Island is seeking input on its search for a new police chief.

The public can weigh in on the search at a forum from 6-8 p.m. Jan. 15 at City Hall. Comments also can be emailed to cityadmin@bainbridgewa.gov.

The city is searching for a replacement for former Chief Jon Fehlman, who resigned in September. Texas-based firm Strategic Government Resources was hired in December to lead the search for a new chief.

“It’s very important to me that SGR hear directly from island residents about the qualifications and characteristics desired in potential candidates,” City Manager Doug Schulze said. “The consultants will then use this input when developing the police chief position profile.”

SGR also led the city’s search for a new manager, which resulted in the hiring of Schulze last fall.

Fraud prevention workshop

Bainbridge Island Police Department has also organized a fraud prevention workshop for Friday. The program will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Waterfront Park Community Center (a nice opportunity to check out the recent renovation).

A panel of experts will discuss common internet scams, mail scams, and identity theft. The program will include information on how to prevent fraud and resources available to fraud victims.

“The purpose of the workshop is simply to educate islanders about the latest scams and to help them avoid being the victims of fraud,” Interim Public Safety Director Larry Dickerson said in an announcement. “While the workshop will be geared toward the island’s senior citizens, any interested members of the public are welcome to attend.”

The workshop is free and no advance registration is necessary.


Tuesday forum focuses on policing and mental illness

Islanders for Collaborative Policing will host a discussion tonight on how law enforcement can better respond to situations involving mentally ill residents.

The Ostling trial brought the topic to the forefront this summer, when a federal jury found the city at fault for not properly training officers to approach people suffering from mental illness. ICP founder Kim Hendrickson said tonight’s will highlight changes at BIPD and what initiatives could benefit the department.

“This event will be an opportunity, we hope, to raise community and officer awareness about mental impairment, suggest new kinds of community and police partnerships, and to consider best practices employed by other police departments,” Hendrickson said in an announcement for the discussion.

The free event will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church, 7968 Finch Road NE.

Participants include Joe Roszack of Kitsap Mental Health, Bill Mosiman of Bainbridge Island School District, Lis Eddy of the state Criminal Justice Training Commission, Dave Shurick of Poulsbo Police, and Bainbridge Police lieutenants Bob Day and Chris Jensen. Father Dennis Tierney of St. Barnabas Episcopal Church will serve as moderator.

Kitsap Sun editorial calls for better police misconduct complaint system

Last week, I reported on a police accountability consultant’s assessment of the Bainbridge police department’s policies for investigating misconduct complaints.

The Kitsap Sun’s editorial board echos the consultant’s determination: that the department’s complaint system is confusing, not readily accessible and can be intimidating to citizens.

Here’s a bit from the editorial:

“(L)ast week’s unveiling of a report commissioned by the city — which will be publicly discussed Nov. 16 — points out that a culture which the community’s trust should be built upon was incomplete at the bottom. A fairly basic function — providing a form for a citizen to file a complaint or concern — is neither clear nor easy to find, according to consultant Sam Pailca, and may even be written so as to discourage that type of feedback.”

Click here to read the full editorial.

By the way, the Sun is looking for some new blood on its editorial board. If you’d be willing to volunteer and make regular trips down to Bremerton to weigh in on issues about and beyond the island, head over here.

Appeal in store for Anderson vs. BIPD case

Last week, a judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by former Bainbridge police officer Scott Anderson his wife, Cynthia Anderson, against the Bainbridge police department.

The lawsuit involves a domestic dispute at the officer’s home in which the Cynthia Anderson allegedly threatened to harm herself. The Andersons are sued, saying Cynthia Anderson’s arrest was unjustified and that police involvement in their affairs damaged their relationship and led to Scott Anderson’s resignation from the department.

You can read the story here.

I wasn’t able to reach the Andersons’ lawyers before deadline on Friday, but Cynthia Anderson’s lawyer, John Muenster, got back to me today.

He said emphatically that there would be an appeal of the judge’s decision.

“Yes, we’re definitely going to appeal,” Muenster said, adding that he and his client want a jury trial. “This is a clear case of a violation of constitutional rights.”

In his dismissal, the judge wrote that Bainbridge police had probable cause to arrest Cynthia Anderson. He also wrote that there is no evidence police were intentionally trying to undermine the Andersons’ relationship.

America’s Most Wanted films on Bainbridge tomorrow

The TV show America’s Most Wanted will spend the day on Thursday filming a segment about fugitive bank robber Brad Robinett.

You may remember his daring escape from Bainbridge police back in September 2009. He led police on a car chase, then a trail chase and finally paddled away via a stolen kayak.

One of the show’s staffers told me filming would begin at the Bainbridge police station at around 8 a.m. Later, they’ll reenact the car chase near the Sportsman Club-New Brooklyn intersection and may do some filming in Grand Forest Park, where dozens of law enforcement officers staged a high-profile search last year for firearms thought to have been stolen by Robinett. The show also has permission from a waterfront land owner to film the kayak escape scene.

BI educator accused of sexual abuse released from jail

The 62-year-old Bainbridge High School classroom aid suspected of sexual misconduct with one of his students was released from the Kitsap County Jail on Monday night.

The suspect was arrested Friday after a witness and security camera footage indicated he had inappropriately touched a 17-year-old developmentally disabled girl at the Bainbridge Island Aquatic Center’s swimming pool and hot tub.

Bainbridge police had initially set bail at $500,000 because the suspect was considered likely to flee authorities.The suspect tried to run away from police when they attempted to contact him at his Ferncliff Avenue home Friday evening. The suspect refused to speak with investigators and was arrested on suspicion of felony indecent liberties.

A judge reduced bail on Monday to $15,000. The suspect posted bail and was released at 8:58 p.m.

The Kitsap County Prosecutor’s Office has not yet decided upon any formal charges.

It is the Kitsap Sun’s policy to not release suspect names until formally charged.

Bainbridge police are continuing their investigation and are seeking additional information about other possible incidents involving the suspect.

The suspect has worked in classrooms with developmentally disabled students for at least six years, according to Bainbridge School District officials. Investigators also learned the suspect is a caregiver for mentally challenged females who live in his home.

Bainbridge police can be reached at (206) 842-5211.