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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Longtime Bellevue police chief announces retirement

BELLEVUE -- Bellevue Police Chief Jim Montgomery announced Tuesday that he is retiring effective May 2.Police Chief Jim Montgomery

Under Montgomery’s leadership, Bellevue has been recognized nationally for its consistently low crime rates, and recently was cited for having the lowest crime rate of any major Puget Sound city.

During his tenure, Montgomery, who previously served as King County Sheriff, oversaw completion of a centralized, state-of-the-art city police facility at the new Bellevue City Hall; successfully expanded community policing and citizen volunteer programs; and led the department’s effort to become internationally accredited.

A Visionary
“Jim has been a tremendous, positive force in Bellevue, managing our Police Department at a time when the city has undergone major change and growth,” said Bellevue City Manager Steve Sarkozy.

“Under Jim, our police force has become recognized throughout the United States for its high professional standards, as well as its innovative approaches to engaging citizens to keep Bellevue one of our nation’s safest cities,” Sarkozy added.

“Throughout his long, distinguished career, Jim has proven himself time and again to be a visionary, and he will be sorely missed.”

Montgomery, 63, whose career in law enforcement has spanned 43 years, said he plans to spend more time with family and traveling, and ultimately will pursue consulting work.

“My time in Bellevue has been particularly productive and satisfying, and I’ve made many close friends,” Montgomery said. “I will miss the dedication and professionalism of the entire city staff, and the support they have given me during my time serving the community.”

Long Career in Law Enforcement
A native of Kentucky, Montgomery joined the Jefferson County Police Department in Kentucky in 1965.  He rose to deputy chief before assuming the chief of police job in Boise, Idaho in 1983. He served in that post until 1988, when he was appointed sheriff of the King County Police Department, a job he held until 1997. (The post became an elective office in 1998.)

As sheriff in King County, Montgomery successfully worked to increase minority and female hiring; initiated a community-based, problem-oriented policing model; and introduced the Automated Fingerprint Information System and other major innovations.

He also created regional partnerships with eight suburban cities, and worked with area school districts to introduce drug education and crime prevention programs to campuses.

Bellevue’s Chief
Montgomery became Bellevue’s chief of police in 1997, ultimately overseeing 295 employees and a budget of $32 million. Among his many accomplishments in Bellevue, Montgomery cited the creation of a centralized police facility at the new City Hall as one of his proudest.

Prior to the opening of the facility, police operations in the city were scattered at various locations, making coordination and service delivery difficult.

Montgomery also cited the department’s recent successes in implementing new information technologies as a major accomplishment, as well as the department earning international accreditation. Bellevue is one of only a handful of cities nationwide with both its Police Department and its communications center accredited by the Commission on Law Enforcement Accreditation.

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450 110th Ave. NE
P.O. Box 90012
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Contact: Lenka Wright, Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 425-452-4090
E-mail: lwright@bellevuewa.gov

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