Joseph “Joe” Clark, former deputy police chief of the Norfolk Police Department in Norfolk, Virginia, talks to Bainbridge residents at a meet-and-greet in November. (Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review)

Joseph “Joe” Clark, former deputy police chief of the Norfolk Police Department in Norfolk, Virginia, talks to Bainbridge residents at a meet-and-greet in November. (Luciano Marano | Bainbridge Island Review)

Deputy chief of police for the Norfolk Police Department picked to lead Bainbridge police

Joe Clark will be Bainbridge Island’s next police chief.

Clark, who currently serves as deputy chief of police for the Norfolk Police Department, was picked by Bainbridge City Manager Morgan Smith to be the island’s top cop “following a lengthy and rigorous selection process,” the city said in an announcement Monday.

“I am excited to come to Bainbridge Island, not only to serve as your chief of police, but as an active member of this community,” Clark said.

“What attracted me to [the Bainbridge Island Police Department] was the strong relationship between the officers and the residents. I look forward to joining this team and continuing to build upon that relationship,” he added.

Clark has been in law enforcement for 34 years, and has worked for the Norfolk Police Department since 1986.

He became deputy chief of the department in Norfolk, Virginia in 2017.

“Joe brings a wealth of policing experience to the city with a strong commitment to community engagement,” Smith said. “He is the ideal choice to lead our high-performing department with his solid record of integrity and ethics.”

The city said an employment agreement for Clark will be brought to the city council for approval, and Clark expects to begin his duties as police chief in late April.

The city’s last police chief, Matthew Hamner, resigned in January 2019 to take a job as chief in Banning, California.

After his departure, Jeff Horn, then deputy chief, was named interim chief.

Horn resigned in November to retire, and his last day with the department was Dec. 5.

Interim Deputy Chief Scott Weiss was installed as acting police chief, and the city said he would serve in the role of interim police chief until a replacement police chief is hired.

The city conducted a nationwide search for a new chief, and three finalists were picked out of 35 applicants.

In addition to Clark, the other finalists were Carl Nielsen, police chief for Centralia, and David “Dave” Westrick, the police chief of Hollister, California.

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