Bainbridge finds plenty of interest in police chief job: 30 applications so far

The city of Bainbridge Island has already heard from approximately 30 applicants who are interested in becoming the island's next police chief.

Bainbridge Island posted its want ad for the city's next top cop Jan. 28.

The city is about halfway through the application period, and the deadline for applications is Feb. 22. The search for a new chief is being led by Strategic Government Resources, a Texas-based executive headhunting firm that found Bainbridge Island's current city manager.

Bainbridge Island City Manager Doug Schulze said he hasn't gotten a detailed breakdown of where the chief candidates currently call home, but said he expected most of the applicants were from Washington state or the West Coast.

Schulze said he was heartened by the initial response to the advertisement for police chief candidates.

"The fact that we received 17 applications the first week it was out was real encouraging to me," Schulze said.

Bainbridge Island has been without a police chief since September, following the resignation of Jon Fehlman.

Fehlman had been chief since 2009, but left the department after the close of an investigation that was prompted by allegations of mismanagement and misdeeds by Fehlman by the city's police union, and the guild's vote of "no confidence" in the chief. Two investigations into the police guild's claims found the allegations against Fehlman were largely unfounded, and he resigned on good terms with the city.

Larry Dickerson, who had previously been chief of the Lacey department and served as an interim chief in other cities in Washington and Alaska, was hired as interim public safety director in July while Fehlman was on leave with the department.

The city signed a contract for the police chief search with Strategic Government Resources in early January.

The firm has estimated that the search will take 60 days.


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