After a 30-year long career serving the citizens of Bellingham, Detective Jana Bouzek (Badge #143) retired on January 15th, 2019. Jana grew up on Whidbey Island and after college applied for and was hired by the Bellingham Police Department on October 26th, 1988. She attended the Criminal Justice Training Commission Police Academy in Burien, Wa, along with two other recruits hired at the same time. This trio of recruits, all women, trained together, graduated together and remained friends throughout their careers at the police department.
During the past 30 years, Jana served in many roles in the police department. After spending several years as a patrol officer she became a Field Training Officer (FTO) in 1993, and trained several new recruits on how to be a good police officer after their academy graduation. In December of 1993, and for the next two years, Jana was assigned to the Northwest Regional Drug Task Force (NWRDTF) as a narcotics detective. An assignment about which Jana said, “that was awesome!” After that she returned to patrol, continuing to serve as an FTO.
Between 1996 and 2006, Jana served alternately on patrol and as an acting detective. In 2006 Jana was promoted to detective and served in the Family Crimes Unit (FCU) until her retirement, yesterday. The FCU detectives are responsible for investigating all adult sexual assaults, serious domestic violence offenses and child physical and sexual abuse cases. Jana says, “I stayed with the cases against children because they are the most vulnerable victims and mean the most to me.” It takes a special person to devote their career to the safety and welfare of children and Jana exemplified that each day. There are many cases where a child’s pain ended because Jana worked tirelessly to apprehend the offender responsible.
While working in the FCU, Jana was certified as a polygraph examiner, using her skills for criminal cases and during our pre-employment process. Jana developed such an outstanding reputation, she was sought after by other departments for her superior skills as a polygraph examiner and interviewer. She received the 2010 Region 1 Directors award from the American Association of Police Polygraphists (AAPP) and commendations from WCSO and BPD for confessions in a murder case and a child sex crime as the result of her polygraph exams.
We thank Jana for her service to all the citizens of Bellingham, but especially her dedication to the safety and welfare of the youngest, most vulnerable – our children. We wish her all the best in retirement.