Joining thousands of other law enforcement and community mourners, two Pelican Bay State Prison staff members representing the Department joined the December 8 tribute to four slain Washington State police officers who were shot to death by a wanted felon. The miles-long procession brought together law enforcement, firefighters lined up 30 rows deep.
“We are part of the greater law enforcement community, knowing that the lives of our own employees are also on the line every day” said Secretary Matthew Cate. “It was truly an honor to be a part of the memorial and to show support to these fallen officers, their coworkers and their families.”
Officers from as far away as New York, Boston and Chicago attended the services. Many citizens braved 20-degree weather to line the streets, waiting for the procession to pass. The four officers were from the Lakewood Police Department, and investigators are still determining whether the suspect targeted the exact police officers or if he was targeting police in general.
The deceased, Sgt. Mark Renninger and Officers Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold, and Greg Richards, lay in state in the Tacoma Dome. The four were killed on Nov. 29, 2009, while in a Parkland Coffee Shop preparing for their shifts.
“Our heartfelt condolences go the fallen officers’ families and to the Lakewood Police Department,” said Adult Operations Chief Deputy Secretary Terri McDonald. “We are grateful for the Pelican Bay staff who endured significant weather conditions to represent the CDCR in paying respects to the families and community during this devastating time.”