Spending all 32 years of her career with the Bellingham Police Department, Lieutenant Danette Beckley (Badge #131) retired on December 19, 2019. Danette grew up in Coupeville, WA and was hired by the Bellingham Police Department on May 4, 1987. Like all newly hired officers, she attended the Basic Law Enforcement Academy at the Criminal Justice Training Commission in Burien, WA. After graduation, Danette returned to Bellingham to complete her field training with experienced officers.
After spending her initial years as a patrol officer, Danette joined the Special Investigations Unit for three years. The investigators in this unit spent their time investigating drug crimes and gang activity. Upon her return to patrol, Danette was selected to be a Field Training Officer responsible for the training of recruit officers recently graduated from the Police Academy. In July of 1998, Danette became a DARE officer, which to this day remains one of the highlights of her career. When asked what her favorite part was, she said “playing basketball with the kids." Danette has always been an athlete playing team sports and saw the important life lessons participating in sports brings to kids. Playing basketball with kids as an officer allowed for incredible relationship building.
After several more years on patrol, Danette became the department's training officer in 2008 where she was responsible for coordinating training and maintaining training records for all commissioned officers. In 2011 Danette was promoted to Sergeant, where she spent time supervising a patrol shift and back to supervising the training division. In December of 2013, Danette was promoted to Lieutenant and led the patrol division until she was assigned as the Public Information Officer for BPD. Danette finished her career as the Investigation Division Lieutenant, supervising the detectives in the Major Crimes and Special Victims Units until retiring yesterday.
We all wish Danette the very best retirement brings her way and our thanks for her years of service to the citizen of Bellingham.