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Are Bellevue cops really being held to a higher standard?

Brandi Kruse spoke to Bellevue Police Chief Linda Pillo. But Dori Monson has some questions and will be calling on Chief Pill for answers. (KIRO Radio/file)

Taken from Friday’s edition of The Dori Monson Show.

We found out Thursday that Bellevue’s own drunk-driving cop, Officer Andrew Hanke, resigned Thursday. This is the guy that drove in a blackout. He was so drunk, by his own admission, he was blacked out when he drove from the Seahawks game back to North Bend in September of 2012.

For that, he gets a tiny slap on the wrist. And then he was accused of driving drunk again in November. This time, one of his fellow officers pulled him over and covered up for him, swept it all under the rug.

So here is a cop who has driven drunk, who has risked a lot of lives on the road, who kept getting a free pass. Here is what Bellevue Police Chief Linda Pillo said to our Brandi Kruse about it:

“I feel sad about the entire situation. For Officer Hanke to take this leap and resign, he certainly is being accountable,” said Pillo.

I took great exception to this, because I was probably the hardest person in the media on the Bellevue Police Department when they had a drunk-driving cop covered up by one of their other officers. And then the chief wouldn’t tell us what she was doing about it.

In fact, she did nothing. The guy resigned. She didn’t do a thing about it, or whatever she was doing behind the scenes, we don’t know because she wouldn’t talk to the media.

I am a great friend to the cops when they are getting castigated unfairly in the media. When we’ve had incidents caught on tape in downtown Seattle where, for example, a cop is dealing with a gang member and they’re being blasted by everybody in the cop-hating media for their actions, or when there is an officer-involved shooting and the cop did what he had to do to save his own life and everybody in the media is trying to go after and crucify the cops for that. I am the best friend good cops have in the media.

And I’m also really tough on bad cops. I’m not a blind attacker or supporter of police officers. So when Chief Linda Pillo said something like this about the media, I take great offense:

“The media will sometimes really focus on negative and not the positive. Now whether that is something they believe the public wants to hear, I don’t know. But I do think that the negative hits the headlines much more so when it is involving an officer,” said Pillo.

That’s not true on this show, where we have many times taken the wrath of community activists who go after cops because we point out when good cops are being unfairly blasted. So I don’t know what the chief is talking about there.

Then, when Brandi talked to her about whether she holds her cops to a higher standard, I had more questions.

Pillo: I can assure the public that it is very clear of what my expectations are, along with the public’s expectations. And that of course is that the officers are held to a higher standard.

Brandi: It’s something we hear all the time when incidents happen with officers, that officers are held to a higher standard. Chief Pillo, what do you think that means?

Pillo: It means that you absolutely will be obeying the laws of our great state and that you not only on duty, but off duty will have the highest of integrity, respect, accountability, and service.

Brandi: Or what?

Pillo: Or you will be held accountable. Right?

What do you mean? Officer Hanke drove in a blackout from downtown Seattle to North Bend and kept his job. He risked the lives of thousands of people on I-90. He kept his job. How is that being held to a higher standard?

He drove drunk risking the lives of however many hundreds he encountered as he was weaving wildly on I-90 back in November. A fellow Bellevue cop pulls him over and swept it under the rug. I still want to know, what is she doing with Officer Doug Brennan who instead of arresting his colleague gave him a free pass? That is not being held to a higher standard.

You see when we citizens drive drunk, Chief Pillo, we’re actually arrested for that. When one of your cops is pulled over by another one of your cops, it’s swept under the rug. And they called Officer Hanke’s wife to pick up the vehicle instead of impounding it. In fact, Chief Pillo, your officers are held to a much, much, much lower standard than the members of the public. So it does not ring true when you say they’re held to a higher standard.

What’s going on with Officer Brennan? Are you going to talk about that? We will make an effort to reach out to Chief Pillo, because the other thing she told Brandi Kruse is that Chief Pillo has never turned down an interview request when she’s asked directly. So we’ll make the call on Monday.

Taken from Friday’s edition of The Dori Monson Show.

Bellevue Police Chief Linda Pillo: ‘I can’t please everyone’
Bellevue police officer at center of alcohol-fueled controversies resigns


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