Wednesday, December 09, 2009

In Remembrance: Lakewood Police Officers Sgt. Mark Renninger, Officer Ronald Owen, Officer Tina Griswold, Officer Greg Richards

The tragic news of police officers killed in the line of duty has made national news again. It is becoming all too common and represents the culture of violence impacting not only our communities, corporations, schools and even a military base (Fort Hood) but on those who have risen to the occasion to serve and protect us as law enforcement officials.

On November 29, 2009, four officers from the 100-member police department of Lakewood, Washington were killed by a deadly ambush in a coffee shop, about 35 miles south of Seattle. Those who lost their lives were Sgt. Mark Renninger, 39; Officer Ronald Owen, 37; Officer Tina Griswold, 40; and Officer Greg Richards, 42.

Published reports stated that the gunman entered a coffee house and appeared to be preparing to place an order at the counter. Understood to be a targeted ambush, he then turned and opened fire on the officers as they innocently and unexpectedly worked on their laptops.

In a written statement, the governor of Washington expressed the sentiments that rang true to law abiding citizens throughout the country:

"Our police put their lives on the line every day, and tragedies like this remind us of the risks they continually take to keep our communities safe. My heart goes out to the family, friends and co-workers of these officers, as well as the entire law enforcement community."

The memorial honoring the ultimate sacrifice of these officers took place on December 8, 2009 through the presence of 20,000 police officers and members of communities from throughout North America. Canada paid their respects by sending 1,000 Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

A procession followed the flag-draped caskets for the three-hour service which included 2,000 cars, understood to be the largest in Washington State history. The customary ceremonial honor guard for law enforcement venues opened the ceremony with thousands of officers throughout the arena standing at attention. They offered their salute as the officer's families and Lakewood Police Department were led to their seats.

These heroes remind us of the dangers the law enforcement community faces each day as they protect our nation. We must be ever mindful of their sacrifices and always appreciate, honor and respect the service they render us.


Lakewood Police Department Click here to visit site
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund Click here to visit site



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