Bainbridge city manager appoints retired chief to supervise police department

A retired police chief from the city of Lacey has been hired to serve as acting police chief for the city of Bainbridge Island.

Larry Dickerson will take over next week as interim public safety director.

Interim City Manager Morgan Smith made the announcement in a memo to police department employees on July 6. She said she had made the appointment in light of Police Chief Jon Fehlman's continued absence from the police department.

Fehlman has been away from his job as police chief since early June, when he was hospitalized for pancreatitis. He has also undergone two surgeries for a heart anomaly.

Smith was not immediately available for comment early Friday.

In her memo to employees in the police department, Smith said she was aware that the department had faces "some stressful events" in the past few months.

"In particular, I am aware that Chief Fehlman’s extended absence has placed extra demands on the department," Smith wrote. "I am extremely grateful to Commander [Sue] Shultz for her management over the past few weeks, and her willingness to take on additional responsibilities is much appreciated. That appreciation extends to each of you, as I know there are ripple effects that require the entire department to step forward and respond."

Smith said Dickerson has previously served as an interim chief in several cities.

"He brings extensive experience and a set of skills that I expect will be of value to us as we address our current issues," Smith added.

She also said Dickerson would not be serving as a commissioned police officer but will have supervisory responsibilities and execute the duties of acting police chief.


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