“It was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. No one spoke. There were lots of tears.” This is how Nancy Bush, a CERT member in Lakewood described the Memorial Procession for the four fallen Lakewood Police Officers. Nearly 100 students from St. Frances Cabrini, plus 100 more parents, staff, and general public came to Lakewood Fire Station 21 early Tuesday morning, December 8, 2009 to honor the officers. For over three hours, attendees stood in below freezing temperatures to witness the memorial procession and show their appreciation for the Lakewood Police Department.
Scattered among these attendees was a CERT team based in Lakewood, to ensure the safety and comfort of all those in attendance. The CERT team arrived early to set up chairs and refreshments, direct traffic, and to create a plan of action and delegate tasks for the event.
Lakewood’s CERT program is a new one, its first class was held April of this year. Since then, over 70 individuals have completed CERT in four separate classes. Four more classes are scheduled for next year. The memorial procession was the first event where Lakewood CERTs were deployed.
This was an emotional time for the CERT team, as they too call Lakewood their home. “Having had direct contact with the fallen officers, I personally felt honored to be able to help out and give back,” stated Bush. The ties this CERT team has with the Lakewood community showed in the care put into this event. “They did an excellent job,” Principal of St. Frances Cabrini School, Stephanie Van Leuven stated. “We would not have survived without them. They were so helpful and their hospitality was exceptional.”