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Published on May 19, 2024
Kirkland Crisis Responder Supervisor Named Finalist for Hometown Heroes AwardSource: City of Kirkland Washington Website

Renee Cox, a seasoned crisis responder supervisor with Kirkland's Regional Crisis Response (RCR) Agency, has been named a top-five finalist for the coveted Hometown Heroes award presented by KING 5. Cox's recognition comes after a dedicated career spanning two decades, in which she significantly contributed to the creation and development of crucial civilian mental health response roles within local law enforcement and emergency services.

In a statement obtained by Kirkland's official website, Mayor Kelli Curtis lauded Cox for her "incredibly positive impact" saying, "Over the past two decades, Renee has been one of the pioneers in creating a new crisis responder career path for civilian mental health responders." Curtis noted the significance of Cox's role not only in Kirkland but across the whole Washington region, asserting her status as a "hometown hero."

Cox's influence extends to law enforcement training, having taught crisis de-escalation techniques to over 5,000 police recruits at the Washington Basic Law Enforcement Academy, and provided additional training to more than 6,000 commissioned officers. Her hands-on involvement in community safety is evident through her role starting as a crisis responder since 2017, working with northern King County cities such as Bothell, Kenmore, Lake Forest Park, and Shoreline, before pioneering the first Kirkland crisis responder role.

"Renee has touched tens of thousands of lives through her calling as a teacher, a trainer, and a crisis responder," Brook Buettner, the Executive Director of the RCR, told Kirkland's official website. Buettner described Cox as "among the most professional, kind, and caring people," applauding her work providing counseling to first responders grappling with the impacts of their demanding jobs.

Cox also contributes to Kirkland's community welfare initiatives as a member of the City's Homelessness Assistance and Response Team, showcasing her commitment to service in multiple facets of crisis intervention and community support. Her selection as a finalist for the Hometown Heroes award serves as a hallmark of her eminent service and an inspirational story of dedication within the civil service sector. The award winner will be announced later this year, highlighting individuals who have gone above and beyond in their service to the community.