Community support after tragedy: Bellevue Police Department on changes since Dallas shootings

Bellevue police at scene

After the tragic events involving law enforcement in Dallas and across the nation, some police departments made changes. For example, Houston police union Vice President Joe Gamaldi stated “what we’re instructing our officers do is request to be placed in two-man units and wait for backup responding to calls,” a measure intended improve officer safety in the light of violence against police officers.

In the days after Dallas, Bellevue police did institute temporary measures for officer safety, but Deputy Police Chief Patrick Arpin did not specify what those were for reasons of security and officer safety, saying “We did make some procedural changes just [temporarily] for a couple days, we did a couple things on the short term that I don’t want to specifically identify, because they’re for officer safety-type reasons but overall there weren’t any changes to our department and how we go out and do our police work.”

Arpin stressed that “officer safety is paramount, that is the number one thing for us is when our officers go out on the street, we want them to come home to their families. When you have an incident like that, it’s terrible, it affects all of us. It affects the citizens, it affects the officers, it affects everyone.” Arpin continued by stating that after any incident, the chief and other command staff determine if there is anything that can be done to improve how things are done.

BPD officers Keblish and McAnnally responding to a call.
BPD officers Keblish and McAnnally responding to a call.

While some measures were in place for temporarily, the most noticeable change seen from the tragedies involving police is the response of the community in supporting police here in Bellevue.

Officer Alina McAnnally stated that the community response was “amazing,” and recounted stories of being thanked by members of the community while out on patrol, including an instance of getting some food and having the meal paid for by an anonymous civilian ahead of her in line.

Arpin also spoke on the community in Bellevue, saying “we pride ourselves in our relationship with the community here in Bellevue, it’s an excellent relationship. We have a great relationship with our citizens. We get very few citizen complaints and our officers treat our citizens really well. The response from the community has been fantastic.”

Arpin and McAnnally both described gifts coming into BPD locations at Bellevue, Factoria and Crossroads. People come by and drop off cards, flowers, snacks and notes to support the police officers in the area.

“I think we’re really fortunate. Bellevue is a wonderful city to live and work and our job obviously is to make it safe and I believe the citizens here really appreciate that and we want to do what we can for our city,” stated Arpin.
Opportunities to help BPD can be found on their website through the Bellevue Police Foundation and BPD is currently hiring officers.