Shirley named Bellevue Police Chief

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City Manager Brad Miyake has named Acting Chief Wendell Shirley to lead the Bellevue Police Department. Chief Shirley has served as acting chief since Chief Steve Mylett left the department last August for a posting in Ohio.

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

Shirley is a 26-year-old law enforcement professional with the Santa Monica, California Police Department. He retired in 2019 but felt called to return to public service after nationwide protests against social justice and police reform.

“Police in America face many challenges, and it’s imperative that we listen to our community and adapt,” Chief Shirley said. “Through strong community engagement and transparency, we can continue to build trust with the Bellevue community. Community engagement is one of my top priorities.”

The leader added that he would also focus on reducing crime and fear of crime. “I believe in the PIE philosophy that through prevention, intervention and enforcement, we can impact quality of life crimes in our neighborhoods, such as car stalkers, auto theft and shoplifting.”

While Bellevue hasn’t seen an increase in violent crime, the chief says everyone is watching closely. “Public safety is a partnership. Law enforcement cannot do it alone and we must partner with our residents and our business community to continue to enjoy a high quality of life in Bellevue,” Shirley said.

Chief Shirley joined the Bellevue Police Department in March 2021 as Deputy Chief. He will be the first person of color to lead the department which includes 184 commissioned officers, as well as 41 non-commissioned officers.

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