BIPD sergeant receives award for mental illness work

The city of Bainbridge Island recently announced that Bainbridge Island Police Department Sergeant Trevor Ziemba was selected to receive the 2019 National Alliance on Mental Illness Washington Criminal Justice Public Service Award.

The award recognizes an individual or group in the area of criminal justice who has demonstrated a strong commitment to the decriminalization of mental illness as well as leadership in seeking change and improving the mental health system.

According to the official letter from NAMI Washington Executive Director Lauren Simonds, Ziemba was nominated by Kimberly Hendrickson, Poulsbo’s Housing, Health & Human Services Program Manager, for his “tireless dedication in advocating for better mental health care and crisis intervention and de-escalation services in Kitsap County.”

“I am honored and humbled to be recognized by an organization that strives to support and embrace those with mental illness,” Ziemba said. “I am just one of thousands of officers and deputies in this state who partner with NAMI to diminish the stigma of mental illness and increase the resources to support those with mental illness in our community.”

Ziemba developed the island department’s crisis intervention training program, which works with state and local agencies to educate officers and the community on assisting those with mental illness, and has completed more than 1,000 hours of training related to de-escalation and crisis intervention and has presented hundreds of hours of training to the community and local groups.

He is also a recent graduate of the FBI National Academy, a 10-week intensive professional course in Quantico, Virginia for law enforcement managers nominated by their agency management because of demonstrated leadership qualities.

“I am proud of Sgt. Ziemba’s proactive leadership role supporting those experiencing mental illness. His dedication and hard work have earned him this well-deserved, statewide recognition,” said Acting Police Chief Scott Weiss.

Ziemba received the award during NAMI’s awards reception Dec. 10 in Seattle.

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