The Police Department makes records available upon request through the Police Records Unit or the Police Public Records Officer. A request that should be submitted to the Police Department is a request for any identifiable record relating to the conduct of Bellevue Police Department business which is prepared, owned, used, or retained by the Bellevue Police Department. Police records include but are not limited to: case reports, collision reports, crime statistics, incident reports, photographs associated with a police case, and audio/video associated with a police case.
NOTE: As the Police Department does not conduct e-mail searches associated with requests for public records, any request that includes “e-mails,” “communication,” or “correspondence” should be submitted to the City Clerk’s office for routing and processing, even if that request is ALSO for Police records.
In accordance with RCW 42.56.520, the department has five business days to respond to a records request:
RCW 42.56.520 provides that a response to a request for public records must be made within five (5) business days. The day the request is received does not count as one of the five (5) days. Weekends and holidays observed by the City are also excluded in the calculation.
Within five (5) business days, the City’s preliminary response will be one of the following:
- Provide the record.
- Acknowledge that the City has received the request and ask the requestor to provide clarification for a request that is unclear, and providing, to the greatest extent possible, a reasonable estimate of the time the City will require to respond to the request if it is not clarified.
- Acknowledge that the City has received the request and provide a reasonable estimate of the time the City will require to provide an update and/or respond to the request
- Deny the public record request.
- Provide an internet address and link on the agency's web site to the specific records requested, except that if the requester notifies the agency that he or she cannot access the records through the internet, then the agency must provide copies of the record or allow the requester to view copies using an agency computer.
Information concerning redactions or exemptions
All agency records are available for review by the public unless they are specifically exempted or prohibited from disclosure by the public record laws. If no statutory exemption or prohibition covers the requested record, it must be disclosed. RCW Chapter 42.56 (the Public Records Act) discusses exemptions applicable to many government records. This non-exhaustive list includes, but is not limited to, common exemptions and prohibition statutes not listed in the Public Records Act commonly applied to police records. You may access a list of common public records disclosure exemptions by clicking here.
The Attorney General’s sunshine committee webpage also provides a list of public disclosure exemptions created annually by the Washington State Code Reviser’s Office. Failure to not list an exemption shall not affect the effectiveness of the exemption.
If you wish to request public records from other city departments (other than police), the City Clerk’s office will route and process that request. Any request for correspondence, e-mail, or communication should be submitted to the City Clerk’s office, even if the request is ALSO for police records. You may access information about this process by visiting the separate request page.
The North East King County Regional Public Safety Communication Agency, NORCOM dispatches for the Bellevue police and fire departments and is responsible for the release of 911 calls/tapes.
Criminal history records
For a statewide criminal history check, you may contact the Washington State Patrol (WSP) WATCH (Washington Access to Criminal History) program for more information. A WSP background check will contain criminal history conviction records for the state of Washington only. To access the Washington State Patrol WATCH program, click here.
To obtain additional information on criminal history records, click here.
Any challenges to the accuracy or completeness of criminal history information contained in Bellevue Police records must be made in writing, clearly identifying any inaccurate or incomplete information. A Records Supervisor will contact you to make an appointment to review the record in question.