Friday, December 4, 2009

To Serve and Protect

But who protects them?

Our community is still reeling in the aftermath of the worst act of violence against police officers it has ever seen. An ex-convict went into a local coffee shop and executed 4 police officers last weekend---officers who were just sitting having coffee on a beautiful Sunday morning. Preparing for their shift one minute, gunned down in cold blood the next. In a few short moments, a total of 9 children lost a parent. The Lakewood Police Department lost 4 of its own. And we were all left wondering why. And wondering where the killer had gone.

Lakewood is a close-knit community just beyond the gates of our military installation. It has a huge, familiar shopping area that was a welcome sight after living overseas for so long. In the hours following the shootings, there was shock, grief, and fear. After all, there was a crazed gunman on the loose who obviously had no regard for life and nothing to lose. Then came word that he was located....and killed by a Seattle police officer on routine patrol. There was a collective sigh of relief. Through the pain, there was a sense that it was over. But how had he eluded police--inflicted with a gunshot wound, no less? Apparently he had been aided by friends and family members. As much as I love my family and friends, if you show up on my doorstep bleeding from a gunshot wound, I'm dialing 9-1-1 even before I open the door.

I am outraged and disgusted by this. All life has value, but his family's arrogance and lack of remorse on his behalf is downright insulting. They were on the news last night--enraged that they weren't allowed inside the courtroom for the proceedings of a relative charged with abetting. They. Were. LATE. The victims' families managed to be on time...

The Memorial Service for the slain officers is set for next week. I suspect they will have to shut down Lakewood----the turnout is expected to be massive.

My husband is in a war zone. As much as I hate to admit it, I'd expect a call saying he has been killed on the job. But sitting in a coffee shop? Not a call I'd ever expect. Or ever want to answer.

In remembrance of Sgt. Mark Renninger, Officer Ronald Owens, Officer Tina Griswold, and Officer Greg Richards.


Jamie said...

This such a sad story and I completely agree with you on my opinion of him & his family.

Last year, we had a similar incident in Oakland where 4 police officers were ambushed & killed. So sad.

Michele said...

My heart and prayers go out to the families of these officers and to the community.

This must be so difficult for so many.