Bellevue Police launch targeted initiative to curb rising crime rates

Jul 18, 2022, 1:02 PM

(Photo courtesy of Bellevue Police Department)...

(Photo courtesy of Bellevue Police Department)

(Photo courtesy of Bellevue Police Department)

Bellevue Police (BPD) is increasing the number of targeted operations to reduce crime in the city’s hot spots, which include stores, malls, and the downtown area, where thefts and criminal activity have been on the rise.

Bellevue has seen a 22% increase in property crime, according to BPD, with instances spiking over the last two years.

“Like many areas, Bellevue is seeing a rise in property crime, and we are committed to crime-fighting efforts to address these issues,” said Bellevue Police Chief Wendell Shirley. “We are approaching this with individual anti-crime plans for each sector of Bellevue. Our patrol captains work with their teams to run these operations, including targeted stings, high-visibility patrols, and undercover work.”

Traffic enforcement officers will conduct high-visibility patrols in known problem areas, looking for traffic infractions such as driving under the influence and collision-causing violations. The anti-crime patrols will include apartment complexes and neighborhoods experiencing a high number of car and catalytic converter thefts.

The anti-crime initiative coincides with the department’s new Transparency and Accountability website, which tracks crime statistics. Officers have access to regularly updated information that allows them to monitor existing and emerging hot spots. This data-driven approach enables teams to quickly adjust resources and tackle crime trends.

Bellevue Police has new transparency and accountability website

“We have data that’s only 48 hours old in order to specifically target locations that have seen an increase in crime or have a higher crime rate,” Bellevue Police Assistant Chief Andrew Popochock said. “It can change from shoplifting to catalytic converters and by building flexibility into the plan, which is what we’ve done with this, we can track those current crime trends.”

The site also explains use of force, breaking down each reportable incident by the level of force, the reason for contact, and the demographics of the subject and involved officer. It also features information about diversity within the department and includes opportunities to engage with the department.

In the past weeks, targeted operations have led to the arrests of prolific shoplifters, DUI drivers, and wanted subjects. In addition, traffic officers have also issued over 60 citations, resulting in three arrests for outstanding warrants.

“Our officers have built relationships with businesses in their sector, and together we are working to combat the ongoing crime,” Shirley said. “We want our residents and visitors to feel safe and be safe here in Bellevue.”

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Bellevue Police launch targeted initiative to curb rising crime rates