Trooper S. Renee Padgett
Suzanne Renee Padgett was born on January 31, 1968, in Hollywood, California. She could remember wanting to be in law enforcement from as early as 14-years-old, which lead her to the Washington State Patrol at the age of 21.
Hired on March 11, 1991, Trooper Cadet S. Renee Padgett was assigned to Gig Harbor while waiting to join the 73rd Trooper Basic Training Class. Trooper Padgett was commissioned on December 20, 1991, assigned to Bellevue.
While working the road, Trooper Padgett received a commendation award for her outstanding efforts in traffic safety, the Outstanding Public Service Award, and Detachment of the Year in 1996-1997.
Trooper Padgett’s career path led to her becoming a Wrecking Yard Trooper in September 2003, a position where she was recognized with a Chief’s Award for Professional Excellence for her hard work, dedication and professionalism during the investigation and successful prosecution of dangerous and illegal wrecking yards. Trooper Padgett was named Commercial Vehicle Trooper of the Year in 2008.
In 2006, Trooper Padgett created the highly successful “Homeward Bound” program to highlight and increase public awareness on missing children’s cases. This was part of a project for Problem Oriented Public Safety (POPS). Renee was recognized with the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in POPS that following year.
Trooper Padgett’s involvement in POPS continued in 2009, resulting in her receiving a commendation award for “curbstoning” to remove unsafe vehicles from the roadway.
In April of 2012, Trooper Padgett collapsed at the gun range while qualifying for firearms and was transported to the hospital via ambulance. In May of 2012, she was diagnosed was multiple myeloma, a rare form of cancer in plasma cells. With the same attitude she utilized on the road, Trooper Padgett rose to the occasion and even achieved a brief remission.
Trooper Padgett received the WSP POPS Project of the Year for Washington State in 2014, for initiating Operation SAFE Student (Speed, Aggressive Driving, Fail to Stop, Enforcement) working with local agencies to crack down on motorists who violate school bus paddle laws.
Unfortunately, just two weeks before she was to report back to work in January 2015, the cancer returned. This time, it was more aggressive.
Trooper Padgett died on September 4, 2018, at the age of 50, after her six-year battle with cancer. In February 2021, the WSP was notified her rare cancer resulted from exposure to toxic chemicals during the investigation of an auto wrecking yard in February 2003, classifying her death as an on-duty incident. At the time of her death, Trooper Padgett had served 27 years with the Washington State Patrol.
Trooper Padgett was survived by her wife, Marcella Egan; her two children, Gedeon Rene Padgett Lagasse, and Olivia Rochelle Padgett Lagasse; her sisters, Nicole Cook and Jaclyn Padgett. She was preceded in death by her father, Marvin Curtis Padgett.