The city of Bellevue will consider four law-enforcement veterans, all from out of state, as its second search for a new chief nears an end. The finalists will meet the public from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at City Hall.
After a first search last year failed to land a new police chief, the city of Bellevue on Monday announced four new finalists for the job. This time, none of the candidates are from local departments. They hail from Phoenix; Chicago; Southlake, Texas; and the Washington, D.C., area.
Unlike the previous search, which included three minorities among the five finalists, the new search has just one, an Asian-American division commander from the Chicago Police Department.
The public will have an opportunity to meet and talk with the new prospects from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Bellevue City Hall, Room 1E-112. City Manager Brad Miyake will make the appointment with an expectation that the new chief will be on the job this spring, about a year after the previous chief, Linda Pillo, retired. The new chief’s annual salary could be as high as $179,000.
In a recruitment brochure prepared for the search, Miyake said the city was seeking a “seasoned leader with a strong command presence and effective communication and interpersonal skills.” He described Bellevue as a safe but growing city that will face challenges in the coming years to maintain its quality of life.
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The previous search was scrapped after five finalists were announced in October. The leading candidate withdrew before the search process was completed, and the city elected to start over with a more targeted recruitment effort rather than offer the job to another finalist.
The previous search cost more than $34,000 and drew some criticism because it included a $1,836 reception and dinner at El Gaucho restaurant for 26 people, at about $71 per person. The city didn’t pay for alcohol. This round will include a breakfast with the City Council and an afternoon reception at Maggianos at Lincoln Square for the city Leadership Team, the finalists and their spouses.
By way of comparison, the city of Seattle’s search that resulted in the hiring of Kathleen O’Toole as chief from among three finalists last year cost $42,540.
The current four Bellevue finalists all have at least 20 years of experience in police work and have held a variety of positions within their departments.
The four finalists are:
• Chuck Miiller, assistant chief with the Phoenix Police Department responsible for its Special Operations and Applied Sciences division. He oversees more than 800 employees and a budget of $80 million, according to Bellevue’s biographical information about the candidates.
Miiller’s division includes information technology, public affairs and crime analysis. He served in the Marine Corps Reserve in the Gulf War’s Desert Shield and Desert Storm operations and holds a master’s degree in public administration.
• Stephen Mylett is currently chief of the Southlake, Texas, Police Department. He previously served 23 years with the Corpus Christi Police Department, where he rose through the ranks from patrol officer to division administrator.
Mylett holds a master’s degree in criminal-justice leadership and management.
• Drew Tracy is currently a lead instructor for the U.S. State Department’s anti-terrorism assistance program. He was previously an assistant chief in the Montgomery County, Md., Police Department, where he served as an executive officer in all three department bureaus: operations, investigations and administration.
Tracy holds a master’s degree in business administration and is a graduate of the FBI’s National Academy and National Executive Institute.
• Gary Yamashiroya, a 28-year veteran in the Chicago Police Department, is currently a commander of its North Area detective division. He was previously a district commander and a commander with the education and training division. Yamashiroya earned a law degree and serves as an adjunct faculty member at Harry S. Truman College in Chicago.
Two local candidates were among the previous finalists: Seattle Assistant Chief Nick Metz, who has since been hired as chief in Aurora, Colo., and Jim Joliffe, Bellevue’s deputy chief. Former Bellevue Police Chief Jim Montgomery has been serving as interim chief.
Information in this article, originally published Feb. 23, 2015, was corrected Feb. 24, 2015. A previous version of this story misspelled Chuck Miiller’s name.