Linda Pillo, the veteran Bellevue officer appointed police chief in January, was sworn in by City Manager Steve Sarkozy Tuesday. Pillo, who served as interim chief since Jim Montgomery's retirement last year, is the first woman to lead the Bellevue Police Department.
A crowd that included City Council members John Chelminiak and Conrad Lee watched as retired Deputy Chief Tim Johnson, a mentor for Pillo, pinned on her new badge in the ceremony in Council chambers.
Chief Pillo's promotion triggered a chain of advancements for other Bellevue department veterans. Major Bruce Vestal was promoted to Pillo's old position, deputy chief of Support Services. Captain Cherie Baker was promoted to major, and Lieutenant John Manning to captain. Officer Jonathan Hoffman was promoted to lieutenant.
Also recognized Tuesday were three longtime dispatchers in the Eastside Regional Communication Center, which dispatches for the Bellevue and Clyde Hill police and for fire agencies from Mercer Island to Snoqualmie Pass. Dispatchers Shawnee Schaeffer and Julie Buckingham-Lofink were promoted to dispatch supervisor, and Cassandra Hogue was promoted to lead dispatcher.
Chief Pillo is only the sixth police chief Bellevue has had since it was incorporated in 1953. She competed for the position with a field of more than 30 applicants from around the country in December.
An interview with Chief Pillo appears in the February It's Your City.
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