By Emily Fitzgerald / firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s been nearly a month since Angie Krause, formerly known as Angie Humphrey, gave her final radio signoff as an officer with the Centralia Police Department, but settling into retirement is a strange change of pace from her 27-year career in law enforcement.
“It’s weird. I feel like I’m on a very long day off,” she told The Chronicle on Thursday.
Retirement so far has been bittersweet for Krause, 53, since she would have liked to continue serving as a Centralia police officer for a while longer if a back injury hadn’t forced her out of the job at the age of 53.
“A doctor won’t release me to (work as a police officer). I have to have another back surgery, so I’m a little bitter about that, because it took my job away,” she said.
Her back was injured in a fall while she was off duty, she said.
“It was stupid, there’s a video … It’s kind of comical,” she said.
Krause joined the Centralia Police Department 21 years ago when her now-ex husband, Jeff Humphrey, became a deputy with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office.
“It’s funny because I came in as a Humphrey and I left as a Krause, and no one knows me as Krause … because it’s never been on my uniform, because I got married in August (2022),” she explained.
The Centralia community knows Krause as Officer Humphrey, and many know her well enough to specifically ask for her when they need an officer.
“They knew if they had an issue, if they needed someone, they could (call me,)” she said.
That community trust is a result of Krause’s philosophy for interacting with people while in uniform: treat everybody as a person.
“They’re not bad people, they’re just making bad choices,” she said of those having negative contact with police. “Everybody has a story and I always treated them like they were a person.”
Along with the regular tools Centralia officers have at their disposal, Krause made use of the “pinky promise” to encourage people to make good choices.
She specifically recalled making a pinky promise with a little girl who didn’t want to go to school. Krause said she would bring her a bag of peanut butter cups if she could go to school every day for one week.
Krause would frequently stop by the girl’s residence and the school to check up on her and encourage her to keep going after that initial week.
“Sometimes they don’t have that positive (reinforcement), especially with police officers … We’re not there always on nice terms, so you just try and change that outlook,” Krause said.
A desire to bring the policing profession out of a negative light was one of Krause’s reasons for pursuing a career as a police officer.
“I just like to help people, get out there and do what you can where there’s a lot of stuff where, most of the time, police officers are looked at in a negative light, so I want to change that,” she said.
Her interest in law enforcement began as early as high school, when she job shadowed a detective in Aberdeen. She worked for the Raymond, Swinomish Tribe and McCleary police departments for a combined total of six years before joining the Centralia Police Department in 2001.
“There’s a lot of good memories there,” she said of her time with the Centralia Police Department.
While her back injury has ended her career as a police officer, Krause remains active in the community as the president of the Adna High School Booster Club and the owner of Skull & Crossbones Coffee Company in Adna, which she and her husband purchased in April 2021 and opened on July 7 of that year after completing renovations.
“I bought the coffee stand for a retirement gig, not expecting it would have to be as quick as it was,” she said.
Krause stays in touch with current and former Centralia police officers she’s worked with over the years and remains a member of the Centralia Police Officers’ Association, which raises funds throughout the year for scholarships, kids bike helmet donations, community events and the annual Night Out With Santa.
Events such as Night Out With Santa where she got to interact with kids in a positive setting were among Humphrey’s highlights of her time with the Centralia Police Department
“It’s just kind of neat because when kids see me, even now, kids that have graduated from high school … they’re like ‘Oh, Officer Humphrey!’ and I get hugs,” she said.
When asked if she had any parting words for her colleagues and her community as she transitions out of her role as a police officer, Krause said, “I just want to thank everybody because I’ve made a great career here.”
She later added, “they’re the ones that define me … I wouldn’t be me without the experiences and everything I’ve had with them.”
Krause’s thanks to her colleagues and the community echoes the goodbye she gave during her final radio signoff on Dec. 7.
“After 27 years in law enforcement, 21 in Centralia, it’s time to say goodbye,” she said. “Thank you to everyone I have had the privilege of working with, on the road or on the other side of the radio, you are all rockstars and I love you.”
The officer who signed Krause off over the radio on Dec. 7 expressed the gratitude of Krause’s fellow officers, family, friends and community, saying, “Thank you for being tough yet fair, caring and compassionate, sometimes a pain in the butt but still looking for the best in people. So enjoy your retirement. Relax. It’s been an honor and a fun ride.”