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Three officers take oath of office and join Bainbridge police department

From left, officers Jon Bingham and Jon Ledbetter and Deputy Chief Jeffrey Horn wait to take their oath to join the Bainbridge Island Police Department. The three officers were hired this summer. - Cecilia Garza | Bainbridge Island Review
From left, officers Jon Bingham and Jon Ledbetter and Deputy Chief Jeffrey Horn wait to take their oath to join the Bainbridge Island Police Department. The three officers were hired this summer.
— image credit: Cecilia Garza | Bainbridge Island Review

Three officers officially joined the Bainbridge Island Police Department Monday after taking the oath of office at the start of this week’s council session.

Jon Bingham and Jon Ledbetter join the department as two of 17 street officers, while Jeffrey Horn fills the second-in-command post as deputy chief.

“When I came here to Bainbridge Island … one of the first things that I was asked to do was to make sure that when we hired officers, that we hired officers that understood Bainbridge Island, that were Bainbridge Island- centric, as they said,” Police Chief Matthew Hamner said Monday.

The department’s first hire, Bingham has lived on Bainbridge for 31 years.

Bingham served as a reserve officer on Bainbridge for six years before joining the Suquamish Police Department as a full-time officer.

“He worked there for three years, before we decided to steal him back,” Hamner said.

In addition to serving the police department, Bingham has taught sailing and swimming and worked as the weekend supervising lifeguard for the Bainbridge Island Metropolitan Park & Recreation District.

Ledbetter hails from Naples, Florida where he served with the Naples Police Department. He is Bainbridge’s newest officer.

“After three years there, the itch to leave Florida became overwhelming,” Hamner said.

While visiting his sister in Seattle, Ledbetter had the opportunity to spend time on Bainbridge Island

“She’s one of the ones we have to thank for getting him to move here,” Hamner said.

It was a natural move.

Along with the climate and Bainbridge’s natural beauty, Ledbetter said, the island’s tight-knit community attracted him to the department.

“I want to be the kind of officer that people get to know on a first-name basis,” Ledbetter said.

Before pursuing a career in law enforcement, Ledbetter graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in anthropology.

The city also welcomed former Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Officer Horn to the department.

“I’ve known Jeff for 20 years,” Hamner said of their time working together in Indiana.

“He’s a top-notch professional and an excellent fit for this community,” the chief said.

During his almost 20 years at the Indianapolis department, Horn served in an array of capacities, including as patrol officer, neighborhood resource officer, sex crimes detective and training supervisor.

Horn made the move to Washington earlier this month with his wife and three children.

“With him leading the daily operations of the department, I’ll be able to spend more of my time doing the things that my boss would like to see me get done,” Hamner said.

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