BPD Progress Report: Use of Force Policy Reform

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Bellevue Police Implement Recommendations

From Chief Wendell Shirley:

The past two years have been challenging for both communities and law enforcement agencies across the nation. Several high-profile incidents, including the murder of George Floyd by a now-former Minneapolis police officer, have strained police-community relations. The events sparked a national debate about police legitimacy, procedural justice, and policing in general, specifically in communities of color.

The City of Bellevue and the Bellevue Police Department quickly acknowledged these concerns and took prompt steps to engage with the community. In June 2020, Mayor Lynne Robinson, with the support of the Bellevue City Council, pledged to have an independent review of the Bellevue Police Department’s use of force policies. The intent was to identify whether any reforms were needed. The pledge included a commitment to review police policies, solicit community input, report the findings, and reform police use of force policies where necessary. The City of Bellevue and the Bellevue Police Department are committed to ensuring their policies and practices serve all communities equally and equitably.

In September 2020, the City of Bellevue hired a consultant, the Office of Independent Review Group (OIR), to conduct a comprehensive use of force policy review. OIR issued its final report in April 2021, citing 47 recommendations.

Since the report’s completion, the police department has evaluated and responded to the recommendations. As of December 9, 2021, the department has responded to 35 of the 47 OIR recommendations and is expeditiously working to address the remaining. You can find the progress report here. The department has also provided quarterly progress reports to the city council.


Feedback Welcome

The police department is committed to continuing to listen and engage with the community. Reform is not a single change; it is an ongoing process of improvement so that the police department meets the community’s needs, especially the needs of those who have historically experienced disenfranchisement.

Bellevue Police Implement Recommendations

From Chief Wendell Shirley:

The past two years have been challenging for both communities and law enforcement agencies across the nation. Several high-profile incidents, including the murder of George Floyd by a now-former Minneapolis police officer, have strained police-community relations. The events sparked a national debate about police legitimacy, procedural justice, and policing in general, specifically in communities of color.

The City of Bellevue and the Bellevue Police Department quickly acknowledged these concerns and took prompt steps to engage with the community. In June 2020, Mayor Lynne Robinson, with the support of the Bellevue City Council, pledged to have an independent review of the Bellevue Police Department’s use of force policies. The intent was to identify whether any reforms were needed. The pledge included a commitment to review police policies, solicit community input, report the findings, and reform police use of force policies where necessary. The City of Bellevue and the Bellevue Police Department are committed to ensuring their policies and practices serve all communities equally and equitably.

In September 2020, the City of Bellevue hired a consultant, the Office of Independent Review Group (OIR), to conduct a comprehensive use of force policy review. OIR issued its final report in April 2021, citing 47 recommendations.

Since the report’s completion, the police department has evaluated and responded to the recommendations. As of December 9, 2021, the department has responded to 35 of the 47 OIR recommendations and is expeditiously working to address the remaining. You can find the progress report here. The department has also provided quarterly progress reports to the city council.


Feedback Welcome

The police department is committed to continuing to listen and engage with the community. Reform is not a single change; it is an ongoing process of improvement so that the police department meets the community’s needs, especially the needs of those who have historically experienced disenfranchisement.

Discussions: All (1) Open (1)
  • Body Worn Cameras

    7 months ago
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    One of the OIR recommendations was that the Bellevue Police Department should consider a body-worn camera (BWC) program. The department is currently researching a BWC camera program to outfit officers with the latest technology. The body-worn cameras will improve transparency and protect the public and officers as a third-party eye will capture interactions. As the department develops the body-worn camera policy, it wants to ensure a balance between privacy and the public’s right to know. We encourage your feedback to help guide the policy creation.

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Page last updated: 19 Apr 2022, 08:42 AM