At five feet four inches Amy Bundy doesn’t exactly tower over her colleagues on the Blaine police force. But Blaine’s newest police officer, who started her duties on September 7, said she’s confident she can handle situations as they arise.
“Brute force isn’t everything,” Bundy said, “one of the things I like about police work is helping people solve problems. I like people, which is why I went into this work.”
The Port Orchard native is also unusual in other ways in that she’s a Navy “brat,” slang for military children, who never left her home town. Bundy’s dad served 30 years as a Navy chief principally operating tugboats as far away as Viet Nam.
A 1999 graduate of South Kitsap high school, Bundy earned a BA in American Cultural Studies from Western Washington University in 2003, and followed that with a more practical AAS in Automobile Technology at the Wyoming Technical Institute in Laramie.
Bundy returned to Bellingham five years ago and began her police work, starting in juvenile detention and then adult correction at the Whatcom County Jail. Last March she graduated from the state police academy in Burien and after a stretch on the road as a Whatcom County Sheriff’s Deputy she became a Blaine police officer last month. Her provisional contract runs through the end of the year.
Each of her police roles required time at the academy, she said, a week for juvenile detention, a month for adult corrections and five months for regular police work.
The five-month police academy was a time of pressure and hazing, because “they want you to quit if you can’t handle the pressure. I could,” said the friendly and outgoing 28-year-old.
Bundy said that her small size and gender are as much an advantage as a drawback. “It’s definitely a two-way street,” she said, “because at the academy you just train harder, and on the job you can often get more out of people by not being physically intimidating. The idea is to have a good officer presence, being confident.” She carries the standard 25-pound duty belt, with a .40 caliber Smith & Wesson, a Taser, handcuffs, baton, flashlight and radio. Bundy said she likes the work because it puts her outside the office, something the confirmed road biker, snowshoer and hiker feels is essential to her health and well-being.
Bundy said that an essential part of working in Blaine is timely notification from citizens when a crime happens. “One lady called to tell me that someone tried to break into her house the night before but was scared off by her dogs. It would have been better for her to have called right away. Police officers follow their own cases here, and the colder a trail gets the harder it is to follow.”
Bundy likes working in a small town atmosphere, and also emphasized the good working relationship the police department here has with the U.S. Border Patrol. She said that she likes the variety, having each day different. “I’ve found a place in Blaine where, for some reason, I get a lot of people driving with suspended licenses,” she said, adding with a smile that she wouldn’t say where that is. “If I told you then I’d just have to find another spot,” she smiled.