Poulsbo police chief abruptly resigns, says he had become ‘a distraction’ after two recent incidents

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Al Townsend (Photo: Poulsbo Police Dept.)

POULSBO, Wash. — Police Chief Al Townsend abruptly resigned Monday , saying that he has become “a distraction” after two recent incidents that were investigated.

Townsend had been the city’s police chief since early 2013.

“I believe I have become a distraction to the city and more specifically the police department,” Townsend said in his resignation statement. “These recent distractions, from the KCSO (Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office) DUI incident to the former Officer Branes incident have taken the focus away from the excellent work our police officers do every day. It’s time to get back on that track, and it seems much more easily accomplished with my departure.”

Mayor Becky Erickson said an interim police chief will be named shortly.

The Kitsap Sun reported that Townsend was the subject of recent investigations by the city into whether he had a romantic relationship with an officer. According to the newspaper, he denied any wrongdoing and  Erickson said he was cleared of the allegations.

The Kitsap Sun reported that  Erickson said Townsend offered his resignation Monday morning after she told him that he wold be placed on administrative leave as the city looked into “other information.”

The paper said that in August, Townsend was “verbally reprimanded” following an incident in August in which he was found in his unlit office with police officer Danielle Branes. Townsend said at the time the officer was showing him her glow-in-the-dark fingernail polish and gave him a hug.





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