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Police Chief Forbes retiring

Bremerton Police Chief Rob Forbes will retire Sept. 30. Forbes has served on the Board of Directors for the local YMCA and United Way agencies in addition to being the chief. - Photo by Jesse Beals
Bremerton Police Chief Rob Forbes will retire Sept. 30. Forbes has served on the Board of Directors for the local YMCA and United Way agencies in addition to being the chief.
— image credit: Photo by Jesse Beals

After 25 years with the Bremerton Police Department, Chief Rob Forbes is retiring.

Born and raised in Bremerton, Forbes, 51, has seen the city go through many ups and downs leading to its current revitalization efforts.

For Forbes, it was time to move on.

“There’s things that I’d like to do other than law enforcement,” Forbes said. “I came to the conclusion after 25 years, I would like to step back and evaluate what options are on the horizon.”

In addition to his police chief duties, Forbes has served on the Board of Directors for the Kitsap Family YMCA and the United Way of Kitsap County.

“Volunteerism has always been important to me, even more so once I became chief of police,” Forbes explained. “At the Y, my pet program if you will, is the Late Night program. Kids gather there in the spirit of having fun in a safe, supportive environment.”

Forbes called his United Way experience “a real eye opener” in regards to seeing how many non-profits exist in Kitsap County to provide for people in need.

In terms of his legacy at the department, Forbes said he has sought hardest to improve community relations.

“I’ve tried very hard during my tenure to open the police department to the community and make sure (it) is an integral part of the community we serve,” Forbes said. “We wanted to break down the barriers that historically existed between the police department and the community.”

One of the most successful of those efforts has been the two “Citizen’s Academies” the department has hosted this year, familiarizing Bremerton residents with the duties and activities of officers and the justice system.

Increasing the department’s diversity has been important to Forbes.

“I am proud of increasing the diversity of the police department so it better reflects the diversity of the community,” he said. “We’ve made progress but there is still work to do.”

Bremerton Mayor Cary Bozeman is sad to see Forbes go.

“He will be missed,” Bozeman said. “He was a very good chief and he’s done a lot for the city. We’ll miss him.”

Forbes has appreciated mayoral support.

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