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I shared this update with all of our employees and City Council members today on the appointment of Captain Tom Wolfe as Interim Chief for the City of Bremerton.
I am pleased to announce that Captain Tom Wolfe will assume the role of Interim Chief of Police for the City of Bremerton following the retirement of current Police Chief Jim Burchett on May 31.
Captain Wolfe is a 33-year veteran of the Bremerton Police Department and I am confident he has the ability and commitment to succeed in his new role as Interim Chief.
I’d like to share a little about him and his background: He was hired by the Bremerton Police Department in 1988 as a uniformed officer and rose through ranks to become Captain in 2003. His experiences in the department includes patrol, investigations, training and instruction, and first-level and middle-management leadership. He has a bachelor of arts degree in Criminal Justice from Washington State University and a master of science in Criminal Justice from Xavier University.
Over his years serving the City, he has been involved in community policing efforts and built cooperative relationships with faith and community leaders, organizations and neighborhood coalitions. He is currently the administrator for the Kitsap Critical Response Team, which responds to all Kitsap County agencies conducting independent investigations. Additionally, he has had experience facilitating accreditation of the department by the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC), which standardizes and maintains a higher level of accountability for police operations. Only 20% of law enforcement agencies receive the qualification statewide.
The Bremerton Police Department has a number of initiatives underway, including intelligence-led policing efforts, Safe Place, behavioral health and navigator programs as well as the introduction of new body cameras for officers. With his background and experience, he will continue the progress on these critical programs and provide continuity during this time. As the acting chief of the department, he will also be absorbing the state’s new police reforms just signed into law by Governor Inslee, one of the most sweeping transparency and accountability packages for law enforcement in the country. My priority is to honor the will of the people, and it’s important that we are able to keep moving new police reforms forward. In light of what’s immediately ahead, I have not set a timeline for recruiting internally or externally for the position.
Captain Wolfe will take on the role of Interim Chief of Police on Tuesday, June 1.