A second award was given out this year to an officer for his extensive Community Outreach to Bellevue residents.
Major Carl Kleinknecht has been in law enforcement for twenty-seven years total, 21 years with this department, and has come up through the department ranks. As a detective, he was honored with the Meritorious Service Award and received an Officer of the Year Award. Continuing to move up as Lieutenant, he began focusing on Community Engagement. As a Captain, he was honored with the Commander’s Award for his work as one of the first Sector Captains. He was selected by the Chief to work with him to coordinate the Tomorrow’s Program, which is funded with a Bellevue Police Foundation grant. He became a core member of the City of Bellevue homelessness work group, City of Bellevue Diversity Advantage, and the Community Advisory Councils. In the newly constructed Office of Professional Accountability, his job duties include overseeing CALEA accreditation, Internal Investigations, and Inspections and Special Projects. He has continued to facilitate community outreach.
“Establishing strong, trusting relationships with the citizens that the department serves is essential to the mission and legitimacy of policing in the 21st century," states Major Kleinknecht. Through the Tomorrow's Program and other committees, he is helping to craft, along with a committed and diverse group of Bellevue citizens, various strategies to deal with the issues the City faces now and in the future, and build a strong and positive connection with the community.
An advisor with the Bellevue Family YMCA's Youth and Government Program, Michelle Williams-Clark, knows that this officer has a genuine desire to make a difference in the lives of youth and family in this community. He personifies dedication, commitment, and generosity, and has taken the time to develop real relationships with teens - not just talking the talk, but walking the walk. An extraordinary role model who builds trust and develops community with young people.
Alma Gonzalez considers this officer a friend of the Latino Community, and admires his courage to take up the challenge of creating positive changes for disadvantaged groups. Working with Eastside Latino Leadership, he has made them feel included in the efforts of the Bellevue Police Department to provide equitable security for residents. "He is not just a policeman," she has said, but a member and friend of our community, and always present and approachable in the most friendly manner, and someone who takes the time to get to know people. His passion for justice and his willingness to understand the needs of the Latino community give us hope and inspiration to continue our work to improve the lives of future generations."
Congratulations, Major Kleinknecht, for your well-deserved recognition.