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    Police Chief Steve Mylett speaks at a rally following protests.

    The Office of Independent Review Group issued its final report on the Bellevue police's use-of-force policies in April 2021. The OIR Group briefed the City Council about the report on April 12. There will be a future briefing by the police chief.   

    Following the death of George Floyd in the summer of 2020, people across the nation and here locally were moved to protest the continued reality of systemic racism. Mayor Lynne Robinson, with the support of the City Council, pledged to review police use of force in Bellevue to identify whether any reforms were needed. 

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    Bellevue is committed to ensuring its policies and practices serve all communities equally and equitably, with the goal of ensuring Black people and other people of color are safe and respected. Everyone who lives and/or works here, along with all who visit, should feel equally safe in Bellevue. Specifically, the city has pledged to: 

    1. Review police use of force policies.
    2. Engage the community by including a diverse range of input, experiences and stories in the review.
    3. Report the findings of the review to the community and seek feedback.
    4. Reform police use of force policies.

    We are now in the reform phase of the pledge, as the council considers the findings and recommendations in the OIR Group's report. 

    Review

    In September 2020, the city hired the OIR Group to review police use-of-force policy in Bellevue and recommend any changes to that policy if necessary. Bellevue’s existing use-of-force policies are in section 1 in the police department policy manual, also linked from the department’s About Us pages.

    The OIR Group completed an analysis of Bellevue use-of-force policies, with its findings and recommendations representing the core of the report issued in the spring of 2021. 

    Graphic of people conversing

    Engagement

    From October through December, OIR led engagement with stakeholders and the community at large, inviting all to share experiences and expectations. OIR took feedback via calls with stakeholder groups, online survey responses, open public meetings, telephone calls, written communications and community listening sessions.

    Listening Sessions 

    Residents and other stakeholders shared their thoughts and experiences at three virtual community listening sessions in October of 2020. Facilitated by OIR and streamed live on Bellevue TV (cable channel 21), the virtual sessions are available for viewing any time.

    Report

    For the third stage of the pledge — Report the findings of the review to the community and seek feedback — OIR issued a preliminary report in February of 2021. The city solicited public comments on the draft findings and recommendations.

    Using input received in February, OIR prepared the final report and presented it to the council on April 12. In the coming weeks, the council will have opportunity to determine potential steps in response to the consultant’s recommendations.

    News and updates

    Future information on advancing the pledge will be provided on this page.

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