After almost 35 years with the Bellevue Police Department, Assistant Chief Patrick Arpin retired on October 13. Arpin began his career in law enforcement with the city of Bellevue after graduating from the University of Washington in 1988.
He first served as a Field Training Officer, Evidence Technician and Crisis Negotiator for 19 years, and was an original member of the department’s Special Enforcement Team.
“It feels good. It’s hard to walk away for me,” said Arpin. “The number of years and the people and as much of my life as I’ve put into the City of Bellevue, it does mean a lot to me. Emotionally it’s hard to detach but I knew it was time to do so.”
In 2004, Arpin was promoted to lieutenant and in 2010 he was promoted to captain. By 2013 he was promoted to major, and in 2016 he was promoted to deputy assistant chief.
“Patrick dedicated his entire career to serving the Bellevue community, and we are grateful to him for that,” said Chief Wendell Shirley. “He has been a wise advisor and valuable resource to me over the past year. His extensive institutional knowledge and caring mentorship are a loss for the department.”
While reflecting on what he’s enjoyed most about his career, a few things come to mind. Arpin said he feels grateful to have gotten to know the community and the positive interactions he has had. Arpin also found excitement in conducting investigations and solving crimes.
His time at the Bellevue Police Department included working with advisory councils, such as the LGBTQ+ council.
“A lot of our discussions were on how to improve relations with police officers in that part of the community,” said Arpin. “Improving relationships and how we can get and also understand Transgender issues, and help police officers understand things they’re not comfortable with, and have a good grasp on what that means for that person.”
Arpin’s career in law enforcement led him to receive several commendations, including the Commander’s Award and two lifesaving awards.
While living out his retirement dream, Arpin will continue to volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club of Bellevue, where he sits on the board of directors and safety committee. Arpin is also looking forward to exploring parts of the world he has not yet seen.
“I really enjoy experiencing different cultures,” said Arpin, who has spent time in parts of Europe and Hawai’i.
Arpin said his top travel destinations are Iceland (for its cool weather, waterfalls and glaciers), New Zealand, Australia, the Netherlands and Portugal. Arpin also plans to focus his time on home remodeling projects and connecting with friends and extended family members.
“I think I’m most excited about just being able to manage my own time because it’s difficult in law enforcement when you’re on call–especially in certain positions you’re on call 24 hours a day,” said Arpin.
The Bellevue Police Department has not yet posted the position for a new assistant chief, but plans on doing so in the near future, said Meeghan Black, Public Information Officer for the department.