One of the five finalists in line to become Bainbridge Island's next police chief has been looking to step up to the ranks of chief for nearly a year.
Matthew Hamner, who is currently a major in the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department, was one of five finalists when the city of Flagstaff, Ariz. was searching for a new police chief in May 2012, according to press reports.
According to Hamner's biography that was released last week by the city of Bainbridge Island, Hamner has 23 years of experience in law enforcement. He has a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Indiana University and a master's degree in criminal justice and public safety from Indiana University. City officials said Hamner is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
Hamner began his career as a patrol officer, according to press reports, and has worked for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department since 1990. He is currently the chief's executive officer for the Indianapolis department, a position that is equivalent to assistant police chief.
Hamner has a history of public service that extends past his law enforcement career. Newspaper reports in Indiana show that he has served as a member of his local school board in Franklin Township, and he was a Republican candidate for a House of Representatives seat in Indiana in 2008.
According to a blog post during his campaign, his biography noted that he is a descendent of John Hamner, a veteran of the Revolutionary War, and is also the fourth of eight Eagle Scouts in one family, a state record in Indiana. The blog post also recounted that Hamner had been awarded the Indianapolis Police Medal of Honor for "extreme valor in the face of peril" after he disarmed a drug dealer who had pointed a loaded gun at his face and threatened to kill him.
Hamner challenged a Republican incumbent for the District 90 seat and lost in the primary.
The finalists for Bainbridge police chief will be presented to the community at an open house Thursday at city hall. The informal gathering is 6 to 8 p.m. in council chambers.
The other four finalists for the position are Lt. Richard Daniels, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; Harry Glidden, Aurora Police Department, Aurora, Colo.; Lt. Richard Goerling, Hillsboro Police Department, Hillsboro, Ore.; and Bryce Johnson, Salt Lake City Police Department, Salt Lake City, Utah.