After 13 years in Puyallup, Bryan Jeter has returned to the position of Chief at the Bonney Lake Police Department.
“I really enjoyed this department when I was here the first time,” Bryan Jeter said in a phone interview. “Chief Powers has created a great team here and I felt that I have a little more law enforcement left in me. I thought it would be a great opportunity to finish my career where it started.”
During his time in Puyallup, Jeter worked on several programs, including the expansion of the department’s social media. He brought back programs such as the Citizen’s Academy, crime prevention, and block watch. He created a community outreach officer to help with the homeless population and hired a Crime Prevention administrator to revamp that program. Under Jeter, the department started participating in the Chief for a Day program.
“I was definitely proud of my time at Puyallup. We accomplished a lot,” Jeter said.
Bonney Lake has changed since Jeter was at the department last, and his experience this time will be different.
“The city has changed for sure. It’s gotten a lot bigger, a lot busier, a lot more traffic. A lot of the officers were here when I was here before, but a lot of them are new. There’s a lot of things to get brought up to speed on,” he said. “It’s really expanded. Tehaleh and some of the other housing developments were not here when I was here, and we did not have a high school.”
Jeter does not plan on making immediate changes at the department, but will take time to settle into the position and assess the current programs and procedures and get to know the officers and community again.
He plans to focus on continuing the connection between the department and the community, including the school district and the greater community that comes to Bonney Lake for its shopping, parks, lake, or sports fields.
“The key is always communication, and Bonney Lake has social media platforms to interact with their citizens. I know that Chief Powers is very engaging with the citizens, so that’s something I plan to continue,” Jeter said.
He would like the Bonney Lake community to feel like they are part of the department and are being kept safe.
“I want to make sure that we are doing all we can to keep our citizens safe,” he said. “I want them to participate in law enforcement, I think it’s important to hear from the public and what they want from their police department and we want to be responsive to that. We have 29 commissioned officers and we’re right around 20,000 in population. We need our citizens to be our extra eyes and ears out there.”
Part of building a connection with the community comes from interacting with it outside of the department. When Jeter was here 14 years ago, he was an active member of the community. He coached youth sports, participated in National Night Out, and was part of the Chamber of Commerce, and he plans to give back to the community again.
“I’m a member of Rotary, and I’d like to get involved with that again. I’d like to get back in the Chamber,” Jeter said. “Anything I can do to get involved and get to know the community. It’s all about relationships.”
Jeter’s swearing in ceremony was during the regularly scheduled City Council meeting on June 19.