City should hire local for its new police chief | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

I have long been perplexed as to why we canvas the entire nation for a new police chief. Is the job so complex that we need someone with a sort of national pedigree to run the local department?

By any measure, I expect we would be described as a low-crime community, with the leading infractions being speeding, or simply being a teenager, and neighbor disputes.

Also seeking an outside chief seems contrary to the value of getting a candidate with strong ties to the community, who is more likely to promote neighborhood policing and provide us with long tenure. The head-hunting nature of the current practice also encourages and rewards the “have gun, will travel” philosophy, leading of course to the loss of the chief as he is recruited from us by somewhere presumably better — witness the loss of Chief Hamner.

So this time around, let’s push for a Bainbridge or Puget Sound resident, with local roots as compared to national credentials.

ANTHONY GIBBONS

Bainbridge Island

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