By Ken Witkoe
I, like many, spent several hours standing near the Lakewood police station, and watching on TV the public memorial for the four slain Lakewood police officers at the Tacoma Dome on Tuesday. The procession to the Tacoma Dome was an estimated 10 miles long and took five hours. Thousands of citizens also gathered on streets along the parade route to show their support. It was a cold, but if possible to say, a beautiful sunny day.
Watching the out-pouring of support from people from all over the world certainly helped to warm the heart. The ceremony in the Tacoma Dome was aired live by most television stations and carried live on the internet. Lakewood’s Mayor Doug Richardson emceed the event, which was filled with somber as well as, much needed, light-hearted moments as family and friends shared their stories of the fallen officers. \
Lakewood Chief of Police Bret Farrar expressed the departments resolve by saying that the Lakewood officers will put on their uniforms and go to work to protect each other and the citizenry.
In the last 20 years, Pierce County has lost three other law enforcement personnel in the line of duty.
- Pierce County sheriff’s deputy John Bananola died Oct. 16, 1995, during a drug raid.
- Tacoma police detective William Lowry died Aug. 28, 1997, while trying to arrest a man in an East Side home.
- Tacoma police officer James G. Lewis died April 27, 2004, when his police motorcycle crashed into a Saturn making a turn at the intersection of South 55th and Alaska streets.