Tuesday, August 28, 2012


ICP invited island residents in the spring of 2012 to meet and discuss policing issues. In response to an evident groundswell of concern, a citizen committee was formed, open to all islanders. Despite differences of opinion, we shared a single main objective: to improve the relationship of Bainbridge Island residents to their Police Department.  We are less interested in prior police practices and incidents than in how the Department operates in the future. Our goal is a city that takes pride in its police department, with residents who trust and respect the officers who are our neighbors and who serve our community.

The report is the result of our deliberations.  It contains seven recommendations for action, summarized as follows:

1. Our City and Police Department should publicly commit to genuine collaborative policing, a style of law enforcement that sees community members as active participants in policing and draws its legitimacy from the support of citizens. It envisions policing as a partnership between community residents and officers, as opposed to a “top down” relationship where residents passively receive policing services.
2.     The BIPD should establish clear goals and objectives, and should communicate these in a strategic plan to the community.

3. The BIPD should adopt two initiatives for improving police response to situations involving mental illness: increased/enhanced crisis intervention training and creating a crisis intervention team to assist officers in the field.

4.    The BIPD should share information about crime/public safety with the public and City Council on a regular basis.

5. The BIPD, City Manager, and City Council should support an independent intake/advisory board that receives citizen and officer concerns.  We’ve developed a proposed structure and operating principles for further development and will be happy to share these with you. 

6.     The BIPD should adopt initiatives that enhance youth/officer relations. More specifically, we recommend that the Department re-establish a School Resource Officer and establish a high school student ride-along program.

7.     The BIPD should maximize positive interactions in the community by emphasizing foot and bike patrol. 

We are releasing our recommendations today to city officials, the press, and residents. We hope this document inspires specific changes at the BIPD, and a cultural change toward collaborative policing. We also hope it marks the beginning of a new, and positive relationship between island residents and the BIPD. 

We will communicate again to the community in 30 days on movement and changes made to date in response to our report. We look forward to sharing good news.

Click here for the full report

Click here for the BIPD response