BIPD names new deputy chief

Bainbridge Police Department has chosen a new deputy chief, Chief Matt Haney announced Wednesday.

Jon Fehlman, Sr., currently a Lieutenant of the Special Services Division, Investigations Bureau of the Santa Rosa, Calif., Police Department, has been tabbed to succeed Mark Duncan, who retired from the post in October.

The deputy chief is in charge of day-to-day operations, staff development and community outreach at the department.

According to a press release, Fehlman has 23 years of experience in police work and a master’s degree of Science in Emergency Services Administration. He directed several investigation teams at the Santa Rosa department.

“Jon’s experience in staff development was a definite deciding factor in his selection,” Haney said. “He has a personal commitment to mentoring people who show the interest and aptitude for advancement in police service. This will be very valuable to us as we seek to ‘grow’ our police department and to promote officers from within.”

Fehlman’s emergency service’s experience may also serve him well with BIPD. The consultant position of City Emergency Preparedness Coordinator, held by Ed Call, will likely not be renewed in 2009. Call has been working to ready both city staff and island neighborhoods for natural or manmade disasters.

The emergency preparedness program will be overseen by Fehlman, if Call’s position is cut.

Fehlman will also take ownership of the department’s Interactive Policing Program. In the program, spearheaded by Duncan, officers “adopted” island neighborhoods, and built relationships with residents there.

“Interactive policing helps officers engage the community in a positive way,” Haney said. “It allows (officers) to become positively involved, and engage in meaningful dialogue. Often, that leads to better prevention and quicker solution of crimes.”

Fehlman is involved with Leadership Santa Rosa, a community outreach leadership program. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the National Alliance on Mental Illness and United Against Sexual Assault, and is currently chair of the Community Multi-Cultural Board, the release said.

Haney said the department received applications for the position from numerous states, and several foreign countries, including Haiti.

Fehlman will be the department’s second deputy chief. He will assume his post Dec. 1.

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