Bremerton sergeant is selected as new deputy police chief of Poulsbo

From left, Tricia Hamil of Group Health presents a Red Cross Real Heroes Award to Bremerton Police Sgt. Wendy L. Davis
From left, Tricia Hamil of Group Health presents a Red Cross Real Heroes Award to Bremerton Police Sgt. Wendy L. Davis 'for her skilled and brave first response to a medical emergency when a car crashed into a church in Bremerton.' Davis is Poulsbo’s new deputy police chief.
— image credit: American Red Cross

POULSBO — Poulsbo’s new deputy police chief was the best overall recruit in her class, the first female sergeant in her department’s history, and honored by the Red Cross for saving a life at a vehicle collision in 2010.

Bremerton Police Sgt. Wendy L. Davis came out on top of a field of 40 candidates to become Poulsbo’s new deputy chief. Chief Dennis Swiney announced her hire Tuesday and said her first day on the job will be Nov. 2.

She will be paid $87,811 per year, Swiney said. Her hire brings the department up to 19 full-time equivalent employees: 10 officers, three sergeants, one detective, one support services manager, one police clerk, and one chief. One police clerk position is vacant and is scheduled to be filled.

“She is very professional, competent, thorough, and has the desire and energy to be very successful here,” Swiney said.

Davis’s first day is a City Council meeting day. She will be introduced to the City Council and sworn in at the council meeting, Swiney said.

Davis started her law enforcement career in 1992 as a reserve officer with the Bremerton Police Department. In September 1995, she was hired as a full-time commissioned officer. Upon completion of the Washington State Basic Law Enforcement Academy, she was named Best Overall Recruit in her class. In 2002, she was promoted by Chief Robert Forbes to serve as the first female sergeant in the department’s history.

During her career with Bremerton, she worked as a bike and boat patrol officer, school resource officer, field training officer, Taser instructor, defensive tactics instructor, crime prevention detective, traffic sergeant, and K-9 unit supervisor, according to Swiney.

As crime prevention detective, Davis focused on community education, Block Watch, landlord-tenant training, community policing, and public information.

Davis received an associate’s degree from Olympic College in 1994, a bachelor of science in criminal justice administration from the University of Phoenix in 2009, and in August completed a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix.

Davis is a member of the Kitsap County Fair Board and the Kitsap County Commission on Children and Youth. She has been involved in Concerns of Police Survivors, Washington State Crime Prevention Association, Kitsap Day Care Association, and Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound.

She and her husband, Bremerton Police Sgt. Mark Thompson, live on a farm in Seabeck. They have three children and three grandchildren.

The deputy chief’s position has been vacant since September 2010, when Shawn Delaney left as part of the Voluntary Separation Program, which provided incentives for employees to leave as the city pared its workforce because of budgetary constraints. It was understood at the time that a deputy police chief would not be hired until an officer left the force, creating a vacancy in the ranks, Finance Director Debbie Booher said.

The police department is budgeted for two fewer FTEs than in 2008.

Swiney said Davis will oversee the day to day operations of the department, and will assist him in budgeting and setting and carrying out goals.

Swiney said having a deputy will enable him to work more closely with city staff and other departments, keep abreast of local and state crime trends, and stay ahead of economic, political and social changes that can affect level of service.

A priority for him is getting the department accredited by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. Forty-nine law enforcement agencies in Washington state are accredited, meaning they are certified as operating under industry best practices and standards. In 1976, the association was directed by the state Legislature to develop standards and goals for law enforcement agencies in the state, and the association has maintained an operational accreditation program since that time.

Accredited agencies in this region include Edmonds Police Department, state Department of Fish and Wildlife, Washington State Patrol, and King County Sheriff’s Department.

“It’s something I believe is important,” Swiney said. “It assures your style and philosophy are contemporary within the law enforcement profession.”

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