Submitted by the City of Bellingham, written by Claudia Murphy
After 28 years serving the citizens of Bellingham, Detective Pauline Renick (Badge #173) retired on September 15, 2020. Detective Renick grew up in Grays Harbor, Washington and after college, joined the United States Army. She served eight years in the Military Police and Criminal Investigation Division (CID) in Germany and Joint Base Lewis McCord (JBLM,) attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. After leaving the Army, she applied for and was hired by the Bellingham Police Department on November 16, 1992. She attended the Criminal Justice Training Commission Police Academy in Burien, WA, along with two other recruits hired at the same time.
During the past 28 years, Detective Renick served in many roles in the police department. After completing the initial field training and spending several years on patrol, she was selected to the bicycle unit and then as a DARE officer in 1996. Detective Renick taught DARE to fifth grade students in half of Bellingham School District elementary schools for three years. In 2004, Detective Renick had the amazing opportunity to be selected as Bellingham High’s School Resource Officer (SRO) where she met many of her DARE kids again, as teenagers.
Detective Renick worked as a patrol officer between DARE and SRO assignments and became a field training officer in 2007. She was promoted to Master Patrol Officer in 2008 and continued to train new officers coming out of the academy on how to do the job at a high level, pass on her work ethic and skills as a patrol officer. In 2011, Detective Renick was promoted to detective and worked in the Special Victims Unit investigating crimes of sexual assault, domestic violence, intimate partner homicide and crimes against children. An impactful case Detective Renick investigated was that of a young boy who was abused by an adult in his life. Using her investigative knowledge, discerning eye for evidence, teamwork with CPS and detectives, as well as her incredible interviewing skills, she got justice for Gabe.
Detective Renick continued the hard work of being a champion for children by concentrating her investigative efforts on internet crimes against children (ICAC.) She tirelessly put together unbelievably complicated cases based on investigating those who victimize children through child pornography. She became an even more skilled interviewer and was able to present many detailed, thorough and exceedingly difficult cases to local and federal prosecutors. Her expertise in the ICAC field has led Detective Renick to several speaking and teaching opportunities. Detective Renick has spent her whole career working to make our children’s world a safer and better place and has had a direct hand in ending the suffering for many. About spending her whole detective career in SVU, Detective Renick said, “I loved knowing I had a positive impact on kids.”
Detective Renick was awarded the Bellingham Police Department’s Medal of Honor in January 1994 for her actions under gunfire in protecting bystanders and ferry passengers when a man fired shots inside the Ferry Terminal. She is one of 14 officers in department history to be awarded the Medal of Honor.
We wish Detective Renick the absolute best in retirement. We thank her for her service to this community and our nation, but especially for her dedication to the protection of our most vulnerable and precious—our children.