Hiring of new Bainbridge police chief to stretch into 2020

Bainbridge Island’s next police chief won’t be known until next year, according to city officials.

Bainbridge officials said earlier that city hall had hoped to have the hiring process completed by the end of December.

That’s not likely, however.

“We are still working through our review process, which also needs to be timed around holiday schedules,” City Manager Morgan Smith said in an email to the Review. “We won’t have any updates to share before January.”

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 out of 35 applicants, three finalists were chosen.

The finalists are:

• Joseph “Joe” Clark, who is currently deputy police chief of the Norfolk Police Department in Norfolk, Virginia.

Bainbridge officials said Clark has more than 33 years of law enforcement experience and has worked for the Norfolk Police Department since 1986. He became deputy chief in Norfolk in 2017.

Clark has a master’s degree in education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia and a bachelor’s degree in criminology from Saint Leo University in Saint Leo, Florida. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

• Carl Nielsen, police chief for Centralia.

Nielsen has more than 34 years of law enforcement experience and has been the police chief in Centralia since 2015. He previously served as a captain and a lieutenant in the Turlock Police Department in Turlock, California from 2007 to 2015. He has a master’s degree in emergency services administration and a bachelor’s degree in emergency services administration/vocational studies from California State University Long Beach in Long Beach, California. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

• David “Dave” Westrick, the police chief of Hollister, California.

Westrick has more than 28 years of law enforcement experience and has been with the Hollister Police Department in Hollister, California since 2003. He became the city’s police chief in 2013. He has a bachelor’s degree in public safety management from Union I&U in Sacramento, California, and he is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

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