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Bellevue police chief on how they successfully combated gang violence

Suspects in the Goldsmith Park shooting in Bellevue in April 2019. (KIRO 7 TV)

About six months ago, the city of Bellevue saw some gang violence that was potentially getting out of control, and their police chief vowed to do something about it. Well it appears that the work they’ve been doing is working and the situation is under control, although there’s always more work to be done.

Bellevue police chief Steve Mylett joined the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH to discuss how they’ve curbed the violence.

“Well, that homicide investigation was a complicated case, and our detectives did a phenomenal job and really starting this from nothing to where we were able to apprehend four suspects,” he said. “At that time, when I went out into the Crossroads community, we reported that from January through April leading up to the homicide the area had experienced 25 shots fired. It was alarming for Bellevue.”

The shooting in April was the first murder Bellevue had experienced in three years. Officers found an 18-year-old boy, dead, shot multiple times. The young man was identified as Josue Flores.

Police chief answers: Does Bellevue have a gang problem?

“After the homicide, we did our emphasis patrol where we we’re very visible with our bike units, our patrol officers, they held briefings out there at the Crossroads substation, and then the overall engagement with community, we saw that number significantly drop between May and September to one shot being fired, which I call victory.”

Mylett says that drive-by shootings have also been reduced as well, with three seen between January and April and zero between May and September. He believes that part of fighting gang violence means engaging and empowering the community, which in turn creates an environment where it’s difficult for gang activity to grow.

Bellevue PD says first murder in 3 years was gang-related

“They divide and conquer basically and they try to intimidate members that live in that area and isolate them from the public servants who are the police. In this particular case, I believe our engagement efforts and the community’s engagements efforts with us really proved to be successful in the end.”

“For us and all law-enforcement agencies, were hyper-vigilant about gang presence and having these individuals try to stake out territory and claim area because it’s the individuals, the law-abiding citizens that live in those areas that suffer the most.”

Listen to the Jason Rantz Show weekday afternoons from 3-6 p.m. on KTTH 770 AM (or HD Radio 97.3 FM HD-Channel 3). Subscribe to the podcast here.

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