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Wendell Shirley named the new chief of the Bellevue Police Department

City Manager Brad Miyake announced Wednesday the city named Interim Police Chief Wendell Shirley to serve as the Bellevue Police Department's next chief.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — The city of Bellevue has a new police chief after former Police Chief Steve Mylett left the position last year.

City Manager Brad Miyake announced Wednesday the city named Interim Police Chief Wendell Shirley to serve as the next chief of the Bellevue Police Department (BPD).

"We were fortunate to have Chief Shirley join the Bellevue Police Department last year after a nationwide search for the assistant chief position. Over the past six months in the interim role, I believe he has demonstrated the leadership skills and dedication necessary to lead the department," said Miyake. “It’s critical that we continue to keep our neighborhoods safe and build strong relationships with community groups and residents of all backgrounds.”

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Mylett announced in July he was leaving the department and accepted the chief position with the city of Akron, Ohio. Mylett had served as chief since 2015.

The city began a nationwide search for Mylett's replacement and appointed Shirley, who was assistant police chief at the time, to serve as interim chief.

Shirley joined the BPD in March 2021 after returning from retirement. Shirley had retired in 2019 following a 26-year career with the Santa Monica Police Department.

The BPD said Shirley returned to law enforcement following nationwide protests over social justice and police reform.

"Policing in America faces many challenges, and it's imperative that we listen to our community and adapt," said Shirley. "Through strong community engagement and transparency, we can continue to build trust with the Bellevue community. Community engagement is one of my top priorities."

Shirley is the first person of color to lead the BPD and said he would be “laser-focused on reducing crime and the fear of crime” in the city.

"I believe in the PIE philosophy, that through Prevention, Intervention and Enforcement, we can impact the quality-of-life crimes in our neighborhoods, like car prowls, car thefts and shoplifting,” said Shirley.

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