Horn to take over as interim chief

Bainbridge Island Deputy Police Chief Jeff Horn has been named interim chief of the Bainbridge department.

That’s not enough for the city’s police union, however.

William Shields, president of the Bainbridge Island Police Guild, praised Horn’s leadership in the department and thanked City Manager Morgan Smith for elevating Horn to the post.

But Shields also said the union would like to see Horn get the job on a permanent basis.

“The [guild] feels that we have a proven, known and excellent leader with Chief Jeff Horn,” Shields told the Review.

“Chief Horn has the immediate ability to continue fostering the environment that has provided the great service and community relationship both the community and officers have grown to love. It is our hope that Chief Horn would like to pursue the role of permanent chief of police and we would fully support him in this pursuit, as we have supported him for the last four years,” Shields added.

Current Police Chief Matthew Hamner resigned from the job Jan. 10, with an effective date of Feb. 15.

Hamner is leaving the chief’s position after more than five years to follow former city manager Doug Schulze to the city of Banning, California.

Schulze, who is now city manager in Banning, recruited Hamner for the post of police chief in Banning. The Banning council approved a three-year employment contract for Hamner on Jan. 8.

Bainbridge city officials said they would launch a nationwide search for Hamner’s replacement.

In a statement made late last week, Shields, president of the police officers’ union, praised Hamner — and Horn — for their service to the city.

“The Bainbridge Island Police Guild wants to thank Chief Matt Hamner for his years of service to the community of Bainbridge Island and we wish him and his family the best in his future endeavors,” Shields said in the statement.

“The [guild] wants to express to our community that while a change is occurring, we are still committed to providing the same great level of service and dedication the community and visitors of Bainbridge Island have grown to love and expect in the past few years. The BIPG feels we have amazing leadership internally and we want to thank the City Manager Morgan Smith for her choice to appoint Deputy Chief Jeff Horn as the interim chief of police.

“While Matt Hamner has been the known public figure for the police department for the past five years, Chief Jeff Horn’s leadership and dedicated service to the department and our community has been just as instrumental to the success we have experienced as a police department,” Shields added. “The BIPG fully supports Chief Jeff Horn in his new role as interim chief of police. The BIPG looks forward to our continued strong working relationship with the community of Bainbridge Island and feels this is best served with Chief Jeff Horn.”

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