JASON RANTZ

Bellevue’s interim police chief addresses police reform, outlines vision for the department

Aug 6, 2021, 2:26 PM | Updated: 2:50 pm
Bellevue Interim Police Chief...
Wendell Shirley (left) with former Bellevue Police Chief Steve Mylett. (City of Bellevue)
(City of Bellevue)

Bellevue Interim Police Chief Wendell Shirley has replaced former Chief Steve Mylett, who is scheduled to begin as police chief of Akron, Ohio, on Aug. 9.

The City of Bellevue is currently looking for a permanent replacement for the role.

In an interview with the KTTH’s Jason Rantz Show, Shirley spoke to his vision for the Bellevue Police Department, touching on the Washington Legislature’s recent police reform. More specifically, he shared how his department has been affected by House Bill 1054, which establishes limits on the equipment used by officers.

While a well-intentioned piece of legislation, which, in part, attempts to limit the militarization of Washington state police, its scope of definition for “military equipment” has encompassed less-lethal equipment, such as shotguns used to deploy bean bag charges.

Rantz: King County Sheriff’s Office, other agencies pull several non-lethal tools

“I will also say I certainly would have liked — and I’m sure my fellow chiefs and sheriffs would share the same thought — the laws would have have been much, much clearer than they are, so that there’s not this confusion,” Shirley said. “We’re having to backtrack and try and figure it out while we’re implementing it when it came into effect July 27. So I wish the laws would have been much more clear.”

Wendell indicated that it is his will to work with the city attorney’s office to implement the laws as they were intentioned. On the subject of police reform, he alluded to the Office of Independent Review’s analysis of Bellevue Police.

“OIR Group works with local governments, community members, and police agencies to address these contemporary challenges and collaborate on sustainable reforms,” reads the group’s website.

The report made 47 recommendations, including the use of body cameras in Bellevue.

“We’re looking at a body worn camera program. We’re working hard to research and bring that forth to our police officers,” Shirley said. “We’re also working through those policies and where we can adjust and fit in with what the report’s recommendations were.”

Shirley retired as a captain after 26 years of service with Santa Monica Police Department. He came out of retirement after “seeing the national conversation as it relates to law enforcement and communities in 2020,” he said during the interview. “I felt like my leadership style and what I had to give could contribute in some way.”

The interim chief also did indicate that he has not applied for the permanent position in Bellevue.

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.

Jason Rantz on AM 770 KTTH
  • listen to jason rantzTune in to AM 770 KTTH weekdays at 3-6pm toThe Jason Rantz Show.

Jason Rantz Show

Jason Rantz

seattle police, shootings, Twitter...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Seattle Police can’t find enough staff for patrol, city and media silent

The Seattle Police Department does not have enough officers to meet daily minimum staffing needs in any precinct across the city.
1 day ago
Seattle Council President Lorena Gonzalez, records requests...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Lorena Gonzalez runs ‘morally disgusting,’ ‘anti-Black’ attack ad in mayor’s race

A new 'racist' attack ad by Seattle City Council President Lorena Gonzalez probably killed her chances of being Mayor.
1 day ago
tacoma, officers, tacoma police, manny ellis, Urquhart...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Police staffing crisis in Tacoma is nearly as bad as in Seattle, morale ‘decimated’

The Tacoma Police Department is dramatically understaffed as crime continues to surge across the city. Police officers are now sounding the alarms.
5 days ago
vaccinations...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: Inslee firing thousands isn’t about health – it’s about forced vaccinations

Governor Jay Inslee's COVID-19 vaccine mandate isn't about public health. It's about power and forced vaccinations. 
6 days ago
Troyer...
KTTH staff

Pierce County Sheriff Troyer says he knew charges were ‘coming since day one’

Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer joins the Jason Rantz Show to react to two misdemeanor charges against him from the attorney general's office.
6 days ago
troyer...
Jason Rantz

Rantz: State AG charges Pierce County Sheriff with 2 misdemeanors after ‘unusual’ move

Attorney General Bob Ferguson's office is readying misdemeanor charges against Pierce County Sheriff Ed Troyer. The filing could come as early as Tuesday.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Bellevue’s interim police chief addresses police reform, outlines vision for the department