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Officer Cain to retire from Bainbridge Island Police Department

Another veteran officer with the Bainbridge Island Police Department has announced plans to retire.

Officer Steve Cain, who has been a law enforcement officer on Bainbridge for more than 25 years, gave notice of his impending retirement late last week.

"I wish him the best in his retirement," said Bainbridge Police Chief Matthew Hamner.

Cain gave two weeks' notice, and his last day will be Friday, June 6. He is still on the job and is expected to turn in his gear next week.

Cain, who has been with Bainbridge police since 1986, is the latest to leave the department.

Lieutenant Christopher Jensen, a police officer on Bainbridge for more than 24 years, finished his service with the department on May 27. Lieutenant Phil Hawkins retired from the department in March after 23 years on the island.

Hamner said the department has seen a lot of turnover in recent months.

"We're down significantly. The most senior veterans are retiring. That gives an opportunity to inject some new people into the department or bring new people on board," Hamner said. "Sometimes turnover results in individuals with new ideas and new perspectives that I think can be beneficial."

After Cain's departure, the department will have a total of 16 officers, including the chief.

Hamner said the department has already conducted interviews for new hires and background checks are currently underway.

Cain received considerable scrutiny during the last half of his career with the Bainbridge department.

He was the subject of a federal civil rights lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Tacoma by Bainbridge attorney Kim Koenig, who claimed her constitutional rights were violated and she was assaulted by Cain after the officer pulled over her husband for speeding in September 2007. Koenig filed a $400,000 claim against the city, and the federal lawsuit followed in 2010.

Investigations by the Puyallup and Mercer Island police departments into Koenig's allegations found no evidence of wrongdoing by the officer.

A jury rejected the lawsuit in federal court in Cain's favor in October 2011.

Cain submitted an "intent to retire" notice with the department on May 23. It was accepted by the chief on the same day.

"It has been an absolute honor to serve the citizens of the city of Bainbridge Island for the past 27+ years," Cain wrote in the memo to Hamner.

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