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Ren's Story


ln 2008 I hit a wall in my corrections career. I had been in the field for 9 years at that point, and I found myself frustrated by the system; by its lack of supports and programs. lt also became apparent that the work was taking a toll on me-l was becoming desensitized, cynical and incapable of trust. My feelings of dissatisfaction grew until I did what appeared to be the only option if I were to salvage my humanity: I quit corrections altogether. Once I left the department, the realwork began. I embarked on a path of self-reflection. lsought help through therapy. I learned howto balance my personaland professional life in a waythat allowed me to reexamine my views on the field of law enforcement, and I eventually returned to the career that I had abandoned. I reentered corrections service in2QI2 with renewed vigor. I recognized my place as a change maker. I sought to impact my colleagues and my community by taking a stand for what I knew my profession to be-an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve. Two years later I was promoted to Sergeant. As Corrections Sergeant at the Olympia Police Department, I have been honored to serve as LGBTQ liaison to the community. I have become a mentor for the lf Project, bridging the gap between law enforcement and the individuals we incarcerate. I collaborate with and work alongside formerly incarcerated individuals through Olympia's highly effective 2019 Municipal Excellence-award winning Familiar Faces Program. I have worked on various projects that have resulted in measurable culture change in my community and the department. I became a corrections officer because I believed that I could make a difference, that I could connect with and influence people in a positive manner. As I look back over the 22years of my career, I know that I have.