After 41 years of law enforcement service, Traffic Officer Lewis “Buzz” Leake (Badge #144) retired on June 6, 2019. His career began as an Albemarle County Sheriff’s Deputy in his hometown of Charlottesville, VA. Then, 2 ½ years later, he received his commission as a Virginia State Police Trooper. He was assigned to duty posts in Loudoun County, located west of Washington, D.C., and Nelson County, a rural county in the Blue Ridge foothills of central Virginia. In 1988 Buzz and his family moved to Bellingham after he accepted a lateral officer position with the Bellingham Police Department.
During his 30-plus years at the Bellingham Police Department, he served in the patrol division as a beat officer, field training officer, and bicycle officer. In 1993 Officer Leake was promoted to traffic officer, serving the 26 years in the traffic division’s motor unit, his last assignment. In addition to traffic enforcement, the motor unit is responsible for all serious injury, fatal and felony collision investigations. As one of the traffic unit’s collision reconstruction specialists, Buzz conducted countless serious injury and fatal vehicle collision investigations. He was also a member of the BPD SCUBA unit and SWAT team and instructed his colleagues in defensive tactics and emergency vehicle operation.
Traffic Officer Leake has dedicated his career to the education and safety of motorists and we thank him for his 41 years of outstanding service to the citizens of the state of Virginia and the city of Bellingham. We wish him all the best in his retirement, where he plans to travel the world, play golf and not ride a motorcycle in the rain.