Lakewood honors four police officers killed one year ago

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by TONYA MOSLEY / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on November 27, 2010 at 7:04 PM

Updated Saturday, Nov 27 at 7:16 PM

PARKLAND, Wash. - Forza Coffee Shop, once a pitstop near the highway, it is now a symbol of community and honor.

"It was the community that wanted us to focus on that and it was really a lot of their ideas too," says owner Brad Carpenter in reference to the new memorial outside of the shop.

Carpenter says they wanted a place to honor the Lakewood four. Officer Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens, Sgt. Mark Renninger and Officer Greg Richards were gunned down Nov. 29, 2009 at the coffee shop in Parkland. It's now a place to reflect.

And for Centralia resident Judith Foy, it's a place to mourn.

"Whenever we're up here we want to go by here and say a blessing," she said.

"On the patio the public is invited to come here and stand in the gap," says Carpenter as he takes us to four pillars that stand to the right of the flag poles. "It's a show of symbolic support of law enforcement. When that gap is breached we gain support of it."

There are a lot of little details here, the four flag poles and underneath the concrete, special items placed by family and friends of the four officers. 

"It should be nice," says Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar as he also shows us the new memorial outside of police headquarters. "It's hard to believe it's been a year, I was just talking to my wife we were just talking about that this weekend, it just went so fast."

Farrar calls the new memorial simple and poignant, a place of peace and reflection for his force and for the community.

"The last year people have come to us when we have been down and in crisis and so it's been nice to get that back from the community," he said.

Chief Farrar is holding a food drive to give back to the community. He's asking people who visit the memorial to bring non-perishable foods that will be donated to community organizations.

Carpenter says none of this could have been done without the community support.

"We had about a 25,000 dollar budget to work with, the community pitched in about $200,000. It's amazing," he said.

Sunday's dedication at Forza begins at 3 p.m. There will be another one at police headquarters at 10 a.m. Forza Coffee Shop will be closed on Monday to allow the family and police officers time alone inside.

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