*Editor’s Note: unfortunately this article was never published on Sunday, November 29, 2009. We have just passed the two year mark and thus feel it is fitting to publish this article and give honor to our fallen Lakewood Police Officers.
(Yesterday) will go down in history as one of the most heartbreaking and difficult days to fathom in Pierce County history. The cold blooded slaying of four dedicated and honorable Lakewood Police Officers is a tremendous loss to our law enforcement community and to Pierce County as a whole. These were officers that dedicated their lives to serving others, and did so with great pride and honor. Our heart goes out to the families of these fallen officers and to the Lakewood Police Department and the City of Lakewood.
When a tragedy of this magnitude occurs it does not matter what color uniform you wear or whether or not you are from a local, state, or federal agency. What matters is how we all respond to such a tragedy and how we work collectively to deal with the circumstances that are in front of us. That is what was required of us today and that’s what I observed from the many local, state, and federal agencies that responded to this horrific scene. In particular, I am extremely impressed and proud by the professional manner by which our department members responded to this tragedy. Many of the first responders to this horrific scene were from our department and did an exceptionally good job in securing the scene and providing information as this incident initially unfolded. Department commanders worked together and quickly to establish incident command and control over department resources initially and throughout the day as well as managed department activities via the department’s Operations Center. Our SWAT Team, Detectives and Forensic personnel from Investigations Bureau, Critical Incident Management Team, and Chaplains worked collaboratively with Lakewood PD and their Pierce County Sheriffs Department counterparts throughout the course of the day in following up leads and supporting fellow officers and their families. This was truly a great team effort and a great demonstration of the care, compassion, and character of our Department members – Thank you!
This is also a time to reflect on the fact that our profession, although a very honorable and fulfilling one, is a profession where tragedy such as the one that occurred today can happen anytime, anywhere, and without warning. This is a sad reality that we have to live with and one that is to me unconscionable.
We will continue to support the City of Lakewood, Lakewood Police Department throughout this investigation and beyond as I know that they would be doing the same for us. This is a very tough time for them and they need all of our support.
Sgt. Mark Renninger and Officers Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold, Greg Richard came to work today with every intention of returning home at the end of their shift to be in the comfort of their families as we all do as we begin our shift. Please keep these fallen heroes and their families in your thoughts and prayers as we all grieve this great loss.