In a major shakeup at the North Bend Police Department, the top two officers in the department announced their retirements Tuesday.
Police Chief Robert Kappelman and Captain Curt Bennett sent letters to the city administrator and city council Tuesday announcing they were retiring as of 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Kappelman’s letter simply said, “Effective today’s date, October 6, 2021, at 5 p.m., I will be retiring from my position as your chief of police.”
Bennett sent a similar letter to the city administrator and council before releasing a statement later in the day. In the statement, Bennett said he loved working for the police department from the last 29 years.
“Anyone who knows me knows that serving as a police officer in North Bend was what God called me to and what I was privileged to do,” Bennett said. “I am extremely proud that, throughout my entire career, I have served this community with honor, compassion, and integrity. While deciding to retire from the North Bend Police Department was one of the most difficult decisions I have made, I know that it is time for me to start the next chapter. I leave knowing that I have earned the respect of my fellow department members. Likewise, I have unwavering support for the North Bend Police Officers’ Association and for Chief Kappelman. I sincerely hope that our elected leaders do not dismiss serious concerns recently raised and brought to their attention.”
The city of North Bend confirmed the two letters were received but declined to say anything else at this time.
The retirement letters came two weeks after the North Bend City Council voted unanimously to look for an outside consultant to do a complete review of the police department. The review will continue despite the retirements.
The city of North Bend said they would have more information to release in the coming days.