Photo courtesy of Bellevue Police Department                                Bellevue recruits (not in order) Dimitry Kulibaba, Jennifer May, Jonathan Palmer and David Swinney are sworn in on July 11. The police department has hired 21 total officers this year.

Photo courtesy of Bellevue Police Department Bellevue recruits (not in order) Dimitry Kulibaba, Jennifer May, Jonathan Palmer and David Swinney are sworn in on July 11. The police department has hired 21 total officers this year.

Police fill commissioned officer openings for first time in eight years

Department attributes success to increased hiring bonus.

After hiring 21 officers this year, the Bellevue Police Department has no openings for commissioned officers. It’s the first time in more than eight years that the police department has been fully staffed for officers.

Police departments across the Eastside have dealt with a hole left by a retiring Baby Boomer generation and others exiting police positions, given the current national narrative on policing, police said. The department attributed the success in hiring this year to an increased bonus for lateral officers transferring in from other departments.

Late last year the city council voted to increase the bonus — for those with three or more years of experience transferring from another department — to $16,000. Additionally, the Bellevue PD increased recruiting staff, background investigators and trainers.

Bellevue PD targets laterals because they’ve already completed their academy training and have a quicker process for getting trained on Washington laws and out on the street, PD spokesperson Meeghan Black said.

In 2018, the department received 27 lateral applications. After the increased bonus, the number grew to 133 applications during the first six months of 2019. The department hired 16 lateral officers in 2019. One of those hired officers had transferred from a state police department, while the remaining 15 were from out of state.

“The (bonus) allowed lateral officers to say ‘With that I can pick my family up and move them. I can come to Bellevue and that’s going to help me make that transition,’” Black said. “It got them looking at Bellevue, and once we got their attention … the sell was pretty easy.”

Black declined to provide a list of the names and past departments of the incoming officers. A public records request for the information was submitted by Reporter staff and is pending with the department.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

New Bellevue recruits Dimitry Kulibaba, Jennifer May, Jonathan Palmer and David Swinney are sworn in on July 11. The police department has hired 21 total officers this year. Photo courtesy of Bellevue Police Department

New Bellevue recruits Dimitry Kulibaba, Jennifer May, Jonathan Palmer and David Swinney are sworn in on July 11. The police department has hired 21 total officers this year. Photo courtesy of Bellevue Police Department

More in News

t
Man goes missing in Lake Washington near Mercer Island

The Mercer Island Police Department (MIPD) Marine Patrol unit was part of… Continue reading

Courtesy of the Washington State Department of Health
COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations are rising in Washington

Data suggests the vaccine is effective in preventing hospitalization for COVID-19

File photo
King County Council OKs millions for courts overwhelmed by pandemic backlog

Some lawyers testified that the backlog has created an “access to justice” problem.

Chinese police credentials used in scam case. (courtesy of Bellevue Police Department)
Police announce uptick of scammers posing as foreign officials in Bellevue

One case involved the use of Chinese police credentials to intimidate victims.

File photo
Brief history of rats in the Puget Sound region – and the problem they present

Local exterminator noticed big change in rats over the past 40 years.

Sponsor of the motion to establish guidelines for the removal of encampments, Councilmember Reagan Dunn (courtesy of King County Council)
King County Council discusses policy for removal of homeless encampments

Still unclear what the standards will be, who will enforce it, and how jurisdictions will interact.

Design rendering of new development (Courtesy of Runberg Architecture Group)
Vulcan purchases 1.4-acre property in Bellevue next to future light rail station

The real estate developer says the eight-story development will have about 250 units of housing.

Stock photo
Face coverings again recommended for indoor public settings

Regardless of vaccination status, says Public Health – Seattle & King County

t
Firearm violence in King County on upward trend

King County prosecutors note a backlog in court cases, point to the pandemic as the reason why.

Most Read