Bellevue PD releases app to report people violating stay-at-home order

Mar 30, 2020, 9:02 AM | Updated: 10:59 am
Steve Mylett, Bellevue Police...
Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett at the KIRO Radio studios. (Matt Pittman/MyNorthwest)
(Matt Pittman/MyNorthwest)

As Washington state’s stay-at-home order continues, the Bellevue Police Department came up with a creative way to ensure that people are adhering to the directive.

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That comes in the form of an app called MyBellevue, that allows you to report people for violating the stay-at-home order, and was devised as a means to relieving increased strain on the city’s 911 system.

“Shortly after the governor’s mandate came out, I started getting reports that our 911 system was been being inundated with people reporting gatherings,” Bellevue PD Chief Steve Mylett told KTTH’s Jason Rantz Show.

The hope with the app was to ensure that 911 calls continued to be reserved for emergencies, “while allowing the public to continue to communicate with us.”

While the app is considered a useful tool in curbing large social gatherings, Chief Mylett also emphasized that Bellevue PD isn’t using it to arrest people or issue citations.

“Our posture right now is to inform and educate,” he described. “We’re not putting handcuffs on anybody that’s in violation of the state mandate, we’re not issuing citations, [and] we’re not detaining people.”

“Our role is when we get that information in between other higher priority calls, our officers will go by, they’ll inform the person that coronavirus is a very serious issue, and by the way, this is a violation of the governor’s order, which is law, and we bring it to their attention. And then we go about our business,” he continued.

He also noted that as a whole, the city is actually doing a great job staying home right now, pointing out that “the streets are pretty empty, and compliance is high.”

Rantz: Seattle crime ‘free for all’ during coronavirus outbreak

This comes as the department has made some adjustments to its philosophy, which, under Mylett, has been focused on treating every interaction with the public as an opportunity to build trust. As the coronavirus outbreak has escalated, Bellevue PD has had to change gears.

“We’ve had to shift that,” said Chief Mylett. “So now I’m encouraging my officers to avoid unnecessary contact with the public for their own safety, and for the safety of the public.”

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Bellevue PD releases app to report people violating stay-at-home order