POULSBO — Deputy Police Chief Wendy Davis has chosen to step down as deputy chief and accept a position of sergeant with the department, according to a city news release.
“After bringing personal issues to the Mayor and Chief, it was mutually agreed upon that the change was in the best interests of all parties,” the press release, issued by the mayor’s office, stated.
Details were not available by press time. Phone messages were left for Davis. Police Chief Dennis Swiney said he had no comment. The Herald was unable to connect with Mayor Becky Erickson.
Sgt. Robert Wright, a 22-year veteran of the department, has accepted the deputy chief position, effective Nov. 1. Davis, a former Bremerton police sergeant, was sworn in Nov. 2, 2011 and was paid $87,811 per year.
Davis was the best overall recruit in her class, the first female sergeant in Bremerton's history, and honored by the Red Cross for saving a life at a vehicle collision in 2010.
“She is very professional, competent, thorough, and has the desire and energy to be very successful here,” Swiney said at the time.
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 to sergeant by then-Chief Robert Forbes.
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.
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 2011 completed a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix. She and her husband, Bremerton Police Sgt. Mark Thompson, live on a farm in Seabeck. They have three children and three grandchildren.
Davis' tenure as deputy chief was a trying one. She joined the department as it was moving to City Hall from its station on Hostmark Street. The Burger King at Poulsbo Village was robbed; the crime remains unsolved. The department was dealing with fallout from the theft of two guns from evidence prior to Davis joining the department; the guns had been scheduled to be destroyed. A former police clerk is charged with the thefts. The thefts prompted an investigation by the state Auditor’s Office and a change in how evidence handling, storage and accounting.
Then, February. On Feb. 8, Poulsbo police officers shot and killed a Poulsbo man who was armed with a handgun at the Les Schwab Tire Center on Viking Avenue. The county Prosecuting Attorney’s Office determined the shooting was justified. On Feb. 17, police arrested a man who tried to rob the Timberland Bank on Viking Avenue. On Feb. 21, a Poulsbo man was arrested for allegedly shooting and killing another man in the latter’s apartment. On Feb. 26, a Bremerton man was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in a forest near Snider Park. On Feb. 28, a woman was run over by a car and killed in the parking lot at First Lutheran Church on 4th Street. Witnesses blamed the foul weather, slippery road surface and lack of lighting, and police ruled it an accident.