Community Meeting: Use of Force policy reform update

Chief Wendell Shirley (Interim) invites the public to a virtual community meeting to update the department’s use of force policies following an independent review..

During the summer of 2020, the City of Bellevue and the police department recognized the strained police-community relations following several high-profile national incidents. This included the murder of George Floyd by a now-former Minneapolis police officer. The events sparked a national debate about police legitimacy, procedural justice, and policing in general, specifically of communities of color.

As a result, the city hired a consultant in September 2020, the Office of Independent Review Group (OIR), to conduct a comprehensive review of the police department’s use of force policies. The review intended to identify whether reforms were needed and reform the police policies where necessary. It also included a commitment to engage with the community, seek input, and report findings.

OIR issued its final report in April 2021, citing 47 recommendations. Since then, the department has responded to 32 of the 47 recommendations, with eight more expected to be posted by the end of the week. You can find the progress report here.

Please join us for an update on the reforms and to ask questions. The meeting will be virtual. Wednesday, January 12, 2022, from 6:30-8:00 pm. Please register on Eventbrite.

Chief Shirley will also discuss the department’s research into a body-worn camera program.  You can post questions for the meeting or provide feedback on the Engaging Bellevue webpage.

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