Funderburke returns to BPS, Carter talks future plans
Published 3:49 pm Thursday, July 16, 2015
Two familiar faces are back in play at Bainbridge Public Safety.
After being promoted from interim to full-time director earlier this week, Jerry Carter will be bringing 37 years of BPS experience to the chief job.
Joining Carter is former director Larry Funderburke, who is coming on board as chief investigator. Former chief investigator Robert Humphrey was moved to head of patrol a couple months ago, leaving the position open for Funderburke to step in.
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Funderburke originally joined BPS in 1969. He served as director from 1989 to 2011 before retiring. Now four years later, he is eager to rejoin the team.
“I’m ready to come back and do something,” Funderburke said. “I want to make myself available for the city. I put my life in with the city.”
Funderburke said he approached Bainbridge city manager Chris Hobby about coming back if there were positions available. Hobby proposed the chief investigator position. Funderburke leapt at the opportunity.
“At first I was skeptical about how that would work, with a former director coming back in a subordinate role,” Hobby said. “Can this work? After talking to Jerry and Larry, I think it can work. I’m thrilled to have him back. It’s good to see him come back and want to contribute.”
Funderburke said he and Carter worked together in the investigation department in the 1970s and 1980s. Now with him back at BPS, many may sense a vibe of the older days when Funderburke was working as director.
“He knows more people than I do,” Carter said. “I think with his relationship and mine with the people, we can get something done. I think it’s going to be very interesting.”
Carter said since he rejoined BPS as interim director in March, he has been working to bring the department back into the community, get everyone on the same wavelength.
“Next thing I want to do is get the department back up to par as far as manpower, get back up to our full strength, trained and cross-trained so we will have a good department,” Carter said.
Full capacity at BPS is around 53 people, Carter said. He has the manpower right now, but many of them are cadets who have not been trained at the fire or police academies. Carter can’t utilize them until they are fully trained.
Once they are qualified, Carter has been given the freedom to put together the team the way he wants it, placing officers where he thinks they will be most productive.
“We have a bunch of young officers now,” Carter said. “They have a way of doing things and we have a way of doing things, we just have to put it all together.”
Carter and Funderburke bring a combined 79 years of experience to Bainbridge law enforcement.