After long search, Bellevue welcomes new police chief

BELLEVUE -- After nearly a year without a permanent leader at its helm, the Bellevue Police Department welcomed a new chief of police Monday.

Steve Mylett replaces Chief Linda Pillo, who retired in April 2014.

Mylett, 49, was hired after the second of two nationwide searches. He comes to the department from Southlake, Texas, where he had served as police chief since 2011. He spent the bulk of his career – 23 years – with the Corpus Christi Police Department.

Dozens of Bellevue police officers, including much of the command staff, attended Mylett’s swearing-in ceremony at City Hall Monday afternoon. Also in attendance were members of Mylett’s family, including his wife of 24 years.

“I stand before you here today filled with great pride and a sincere humility, realizing that you have selected me to be your next chief of police,” Mylett said, reading from a prepared statement. “I’m very excited to be joining a professional organization with such a dedicated workforce who are so committed to service.”

Mylett pledged to lead the department with an “ethical and moral” compass.

Bellevue City Manager Brad Miyake praised him as a “cop, through and through,” who is known to favor wearing a uniform rather than a suit and tie.

“He is no doubt a very seasoned leader,” Miyake said. “I believe that he’s going to bring the police department to that next level that we’re looking at.”

Mylett commented briefly on Monday about a series of embarrassing incidents involving Bellevue police officers over the past several years, including an incident in which two officers were thrown out of a Seattle Seahawks game for being drunk and belligerent.

“We’ll learn from our mistakes and my command staff and I will walk the walk and talk the talk,” he said. “We will epitomize integrity and we will epitomize honesty and morality. So we will do what we need to do to set the example throughout the organization.”