Awards and Recognition

Compliments, Thank You Notes, and Gestures of Appreciation

We wish to thank the citizens of Bainbridge Island for bestowing no less than 37 compliments and 95 thank you notes, cards, flowers, and other small treats to the department and members of it during 2015.  It is our honor to serve you, and your demonstrations of support are greatly appreciated.

Annual Awards Gala

Each year, the Bainbridge Island Police Department hosts an awards gala where members of the department are recognized by their peers for notable accomplishments and exceptional service during the preceding year.  The list below reflects award winners who received recognition for performance during the 2015 calendar year:

2015 Officer of the Year Award:  Relief Supervisor Dale Johnson

After calculating statistics for performance in 2015 including arrests, traffic stops, tickets, calls for service and positive or complimentary correspondence received, this officer finished above all his peers.  He is respectful, calm, kind, dependable, patient, and always brings positive energy to the workplace.  He is a friend to everyone and exemplifies the attributes our agency looks for in a police officer.  In addition to patrol duties, Officer Johnson is also an active member of the Kitsap County SWAT Team, a bicycle officer, a motorcycle officer, an EVOC instructor, a patrol boat operator, coordinates the department’s sex offender tracking and is a tactics instructor.

2015 Civilian of the Year Award:  Harbormaster Tami Allen

By patiently building relationships with boaters, residents, live-aboards, business owners and travelers, Tami developed a network of sea and shore watchers to keep us apprised of what’s happening on the shoreline and in our waters.  She is responsible for coordinating multi-agency response to derelict, abandoned, leaking, and sinking vessels, helps clear our waters of abandoned nets, tackle, crab pots and other flotsam, organized a volunteer flotilla for emergency response, is featured as a subject matter expert at some of the conferences of the Pacific Coast Congress of Harbormasters and Port Managers, and continually looks for creative ways to promote boating in Bainbridge waters.

Lifesaving Award:  Relief Supervisor Dale Johnson, Officer Jon Ledbetter

For locating, with tremendous difficulty, the victim of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest (in the woods, at night, with minimal information regarding location) and saving him by maintaining pressure on his wound, keeping him calm, and coordinating an EMS response.  If not for the immediate, coordinated actions of Officers Johnson and Ledbetter, the victim would not have been located and stabilized in time to save his life. 

Meritorious Conduct Award:  Officers Jeff Benkert, Erik Peffer, and Bill Shields

For calmly negotiating a peaceful resolution to an incident at the ferry terminal where a suicidal, extremely aggressive and hostile victim suffering a mental health crisis had made an attempt on his life with a knife.  These officers protected civilians, calmed the man down and convinced him to take a ride to the hospital for help with successful de-escalation techniques.

Exceptional Police Duty Award:  Detectives Aimee LaClaire and Mo Stich

These detectives were honored for their body of work in 2015.  Between the two of them, they closed over 140 open cases, most of which were felonies, by using every available resource to develop detailed and comprehensive cases to support the charges.  Some of their more notable cases included three felony elder exploitation cases, a residential burglary, an arson at Safeway, and child molestation.  They display all the attributes of good detectives, notably demonstrating exceptional care and compassion when communicating with crime victims.

Exceptional Police Duty Award:  Relief Supervisor Dale Johnson, Officer Chuck Kazer

For working together to apprehend the suspect responsible for a string of unsolved thefts and burglaries involving more than 30 separate residences on Bainbridge and throughout Kitsap County.

Exceptional Police Duty Award:  Officer Erik Peffer

For his attempt at saving the life of a 22-day old infant who was found not breathing.  Tragically, despite every effort, the child was pronounced dead at the scene.  For the next several hours, Officer Peffer exhibited the highest level of professionalism, compassion, and empathy with the child’s mother and grandmother, patiently discussing what to expect during the investigation so she wasn’t shocked or repelled by the proceedings, and completed a thorough, professional investigation with sensitivity and understanding.

Exceptional Civic Duty Award:  Evidence Technician Jennifer Cooper

Ms. Cooper was recognized for her effort in creating the department’s new Property and Evidence Packaging Manual in the interest of bettering the agency.  The 56-page manual is comprehensive, easy to understand, and provides exceptional guidance for officers and civilians on how to properly handle, package, and enter evidence into the evidence system.  The manual includes instructions for diverse items, it is easy to use, and full of helpful photographs. 

Certificate of Commendation:  Sergeant Trevor Ziemba

Sergeant Ziemba was designated as the department’s first Crisis Intervention Officer, and he has since been heavily involved in furthering our department’s understanding of and relationship with the mentally ill through education, resources and training.  In 2010, the department was accused of not providing proper training with regard to interacting with the mentally ill and five years later we are proud to be facilitating Crisis Intervention Training for fellow agencies thanks to his efforts.

Certificate of Commendation:  Officer Jon Bingham

For calmly and effectively handling a traffic stop involving a jumpy driver who reached for a gun in the console of his vehicle.  While waiting for additional units to arrive, dispatch notified Officer Bingham of an officer safety warning associated with the registered owner of the vehicle.  After additional units arrived, the occupants of the vehicle were safely called out of the vehicle and detained, and the gun was in fact determined to be a BB gun – albeit a full size, black replica of a Berretta semi-automatic pistol. The only way to tell the difference was to examine it closely under bright light.

Letter of Recognition:  Officers Jeffrey Benkert, Victor Cienega, Bob Day, Aimee LaClaire, Erik Peffer, Jon Ledbetter, Cam Lewis, Mo Stich, Mike Tovar

For working together to apprehend the suspect responsible for a string of unsolved thefts and burglaries involving more than 30 separate residences on Bainbridge and throughout Kitsap County.

Marksmanship Award:  Chief of Police Matthew Hamner, Sergeant Ben Sias, Officer Jon Ledbetter

For maintaining a sidearm qualification score of at least 90% for four consecutive daytime qualifications. 

Citizen Commendations:
Grace LeDoux, for designing the department’s new recruiting brochure.
Veronica Mahara and Jeff Stoneman for going above and beyond to assist officers in the field.going above and beyond to assist officers in the field.

Service Award:  David Portrey, for nearly seventeen years of service as a BIPD Reserve Officer.

Kathy Dunn Memorial Service Award:  Dr. Ted Rosenbaum, for his years of service to the department.

About the award:  Kathy Dunn, a retired Bainbridge Island teacher with a distinguished career spanning 30 years, was a respected and beloved member of our community who selflessly volunteered her time, her ideas, and her wisdom as an outspoken leader and activist.  As a student in the BIPD’s 2013 Citizens’ Academy, Kathy became keenly interested in law enforcement, subsequently becoming a respected police advocate by volunteering as a member of the Chief’s Roundtable and serving as a member of the Civil Service Commission.   Kathy passed away unexpectedly in 2014 at the age of 71 as the result of a tragic accident.  In her memory, the BIPD established an annual award that honors one Bainbridge Island citizen who is not a member of the department but who has demonstrated service to the law enforcement community through improved processes, ideas, actions, teamwork or volunteerism.  The BIPD is proud to present its second annual Kathy Dunn Memorial Service Award to Dr. Ted Rosenbaum for his service to the department.