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Bainbridge police department to consider establishing citizen review board

The Bainbridge Island Police Department may soon have its own police commission made up of Bainbridge residents to review internal affairs.

Over the course of the next month, the department will work with ten community leaders, designated the Criteria Development Group, to come up with a recommendations for whether or not a police commission is needed.

"We owe it to the community to conduct ourselves ethically and professionally, and if we can show, by thorough and independent review that this is how we do business, both the community and the department will benefit,” said Police Chief Matthew Hamner.

The ten-member Criteria Development Group will study the implications of instituting an independent citizen board that reviews internal affairs at the department, advises the chief and city manager on key issues and assists in community outreach.

The group was assembled in response to a 2013 assessment of the department which advised that internal conflict may improve with a formal police commission.

Members of the advisory group are Andrea Mackin, Dennis Tierney, Eric Wood, Jeff Brien, Katherine Dunn, Kimberly Hendrickson, Linda Thurott, Rex Oliver, Robert Dashiell and Varon Mullis.

The group is currently scheduled to meet four times, and possibly more if necessary.

Meetings will not be open to the public.

Recommendations will be forwarded to Hamner at the end of the process.

“If a Civilian Review Board for the Bainbridge Island Police Department is what this community needs, then we will have one," Hamner said.

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