Linda Pillo, a 22-year veteran of the Bellevue Police Department, has been chosen as the department's new chief, City Manager Steve Sarkozy announced Friday.
Pillo, who has been serving as interim chief since the retirement last year of Jim Montgomery, was selected from a field of five candidates.
"We are extremely fortunate to have someone with Linda's experience and expertise at the helm of our police department," Sarkozy said. "Over the years, Linda has demonstrated excellent leadership and management skills while serving in a variety of executive positions."
Pillo began her law enforcement career in 1979 as a police officer on Mercer Island, where she also served as a detective. In 1986, she joined Bellevue's department, where she became a captain in 1996 and a major in 2000. In 2004, she was promoted to deputy chief in charge of operations and, three years later, rotated into the position of deputy chief for support services.
Pillo graduated from the Criminal Justice Program at Washington State University, and has completed advanced training at the FBI National Academy.
"I am very honored to accept the position of Chief of Police for Bellevue," Pillo said. "I am proud to serve this great community and our outstanding police staff, and look forward to continuing the work already begun to make this department one of the best -– and our community one of the safest -- in the nation."
As chief, Pillo will oversee an internationally-accredited department with 260 employees and an annual operating budget of about $36 million. In recent years, the department has worked successfully with the community to maintain Bellevue's ranking as one of the most crime-free and safest cities in the nation. Statistics released this week by the FBI showed both violent and property crimes down significantly for the first half of 2007.
In coming years, the department is expected to face new challenges due to rapid growth in the downtown area, and will play a leadership role in efforts now underway to consolidate emergency dispatch services in a number of Eastside communities to improve public service and safety. The department also is expected to be a key player in the ongoing planning process for a new regional jail.
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