Former Bainbridge Island police chief Matthew Hamner recalled Bainbridge Officer Kurt Enget as an “all-around great guy” and someone to be counted on in any situation.
Enget died Friday morning following treatment for symptoms similar to COVID-19 at Harrison Medical Center.
Enget, 49, was the city’s K-9 officer and a five-year veteran of the Bainbridge Island Police Department.
Hamner, who resigned as Bainbridge chief in 2019 to take the position of police chief in Banning, California, was head of the island department when Enget was hired in 2015.
The former chief shared his memories of Enget in a tribute sent Friday to the Review.
“Kurt Enget was a friend to all he met, and I am honored to say, he was a friend of mine. I love Kurt both as an officer and as a man. In life, we see each other from our own perspective, and I would like to share with you just how I saw Kurt Enget, as a man and as an officer.
I first met Kurt when he applied to be a police officer with the Bainbridge Island Police Department. He was straightforward when he answered my questions and was completely honest and transparent in his responses.
In fact, I called his chief from Suquamish, and asked about Kurt. Chief Mike Lasnier stated, you will always get the truth from Kurt; he is completely honest.
I soon learned that Kurt was just an all-around great guy. He is someone you could count on if you needed something. He always had a kind word to share or a sarcastic remark that would make you laugh. Kurt was always happy, I don’t ever remember seeing him down, upset or unhappy.
Kurt always found the good in life and I attribute much of that attitude to him always being grateful for whatever life gave him. I don’t think Kurt had a bad day, he truly made lemonade when life gave him lemons.
Kurt was always kidding everyone, and it was said of him, that he was the only one who could say the things he said to me and get away with it.
I had shoulder surgery one Christmas holiday and Kurt came to my home with the other officers to visit with me and see how I was doing. I was on pain medication and was not myself.
After they walked in the living room while I sat in my easy chair, I said, come over here so I can see you and he laughed at me.
He said I sounded like a grandfather looking at his grandchildren and couldn’t see very well. Everyone laughed! Just for the record, I am only about 5 years older than Kurt.
We had a bond. He called me many times after I left BIPD to check on me and see how things were going and to share with me how BIPD was doing.
Kurt loved dogs and loved Whitney, his K9. He interviewed with me and I chose him to be the K9 officer. He worked very hard in finding the right bloodhound and was very enthusiastic about his assignment. He was so grateful and excited for the new opportunity. He loved Whitney and was proud to represent BIPD as our K9 officer.
I had the privilege of meeting his wife, Yvette, who he loved and adored. She also had a great sense of humor and would give back as much as Kurt gave, they truly had a bond and were devoted to each other. He spoke highly of his children and was a good father.
He was a good son who loved and respected his mother. My mom always said you can tell the character of a man by the way he treats his mother. Kurt passed that test with a high mark.
What kind of officer was Kurt Enget? I will tell you. He believed in my philosophy of treating people with kindness and respect regardless of their circumstances.
When Kurt first arrived at BIPD, I found out that he wrote traffic tickets regularly. I told him my philosophy was to educate first and writing a ticket was a last resort. He quickly bought in and was very judicious when issuing a citation.
Kurt was willing to do whatever was asked of him and more. He loved the citizens of Bainbridge Island, in fact Kurt loved everyone. Kurt never met a stranger.
I miss Kurt Enget and I will miss his phone calls. However, Kurt is with our Father in Heaven and I know that I will see him again.
This Easter weekend as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His power to overcome death, we know that Kurt still lives and that families are forever. I pray that his family feels comforted and want them to know that he was loved by all.
Kurt Enget follow Rudyard Kipling’s advice to his son in the poem ‘IF.’ He was truly a man in all respects.”
Enget is survived by his wife, Yevette; three children; and two grandchildren.
A fund has been established by the Bainbridge Island Police Guild to help Enget’s family (https://www.gofundme.com/f/bipg-support-for-kurt-and-yvette-enget?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1).