Part 1: Lakewood officers' memorial up-to-the-minute

Part 1: Lakewood officers' memorial up-to-the-minute

Credit: KING

About 1,982 police and emergency vehicles on McChord AFB are participating in the procession for the four slain Lakewood officers.

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by KING5.com Staff

NWCN.com

Posted on December 8, 2009 at 3:41 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 10:15 AM

(KING5.com is providing minute-by-minute coverage of the procession and memorial for four Lakewood officers who lost their lives on Nov. 29. - This is Part 1, which represents everything leading up to the start of the memorial service. Click here to see Part 2)

2:34 p.m. - The color guard is marching to the forward viewing area to present the colors.

2:30 p.m. - Bagpipers and drummers are now marching to the viewing area.

2:25 p.m. - The doors to the Tacoma Dome are closed. Nobody else will be allowed inside until the cermony ends. The honor guard is dismissed.

2:10 p.m. - The families are being escorted to their seats. Officers attending the memorial are standing and saluting.

2:06 p.m. - The honor guard is entering.

2:05 p.m. - The service has begun. The officers guarding the caskets have been relieved.

2:00 p.m. - Some announcements were just made, explaining to those attending the service what to expect.

1:54 p.m. - Due to the particularly violent nature of these deaths, we are told the traditional firing of rifles is going to be replaced by ringing of bells at the service.

1:47 p.m - It has just been announced that the memorial will begin at 2 p.m.

1:46 p.m. - The procession has completely passed the Lakewood Police Department. The American flag that was hung from an arch made of Lakewood Fire Department ladder trucks has been taken down and the arch is being dismantled.

1:28 p.m. - The memorial service is tentatively set to start in about 15 minutes. If you wish to follow along, click here for the official program.

1:23 p.m. - The end of the procession has just left McChord AFB.

1:08 p.m. - KING 5's Jane McCarthy reports police cars are still leaving McChord AFB, more than three hours after the start of the procession.

1:02 p.m. - The inside of the Tacoma Dome is quickly filling up with police officers. For those of you wishing to drive through Tacoma at this hour, a shot we just saw from outside shows traffic is moving smoothly on I-5 past the Tacoma Dome.

12:48 p.m. - We're told there are 1,000 members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and 300 officers from the Vancouver, BC Police Department, as well has hundreds of officers from across Canada attending the memorial.

12:45 p.m. - The start of the memorial is expected to be delayed about 45 minutes because police taking part in the memorial are still in the procession, on their way to the Tacoma Dome.

12:40 p.m. - The caskets are being brought out to the floor of the Tacoma Dome.

12:22 p.m. - The caskets are now inside the Tacoma Dome, followed by family members. Several police vehicles are still arriving at the dome. Sgt. Brian Johnston of the Monroe Police Dept. says it's possible that the service may not start right at 1 p.m. He says those organizing the memorial will first make sure the families are ready to begin.

12:16 p.m. - The caskets, draped with American flags, are now being escorted into the Tacoma Dome. The first casket in is that of Sgt. Mark Renninger, followed by Ofc. Tina Griswold, Ofc. Ronald Owens and Ofc. Greg Richards. That is the order of their rank, followed by order of seniority.

12:11 p.m. - The caskets are being removed from the hearses. Law enforcement officers are saluting as the pall bearers remove the fallen officers.

12:07 p.m - Family members begin emerging from the coaches at the Tacoma Dome.

12:04 p.m. - We're told vehicles are still leaving McChord AFB, more than two hours after the procession began.

11:59 a.m. - It appears part of the livestream problem some of our visitors are experiencing is due to Firefox. If you are not seeing our live coverage, please try using Internet Explorer.

11:49 a.m. - Sgt. Urquhart says officers from agencies around the region are volunteering to work in Lakewood and Pierce County while those officers attend the memorial.

11:36 a.m. - The hearses are now parked in front of the Tacoma Dome with hundreds of law enforcement officers standing at attention.

11:32 a.m. - One boy at the Tacoma Dome says he plans to write a report for school on what he's seeing and what the memorial means to him.

11:23 a.m. - The procession is just arriving at the Tacoma Dome. They are passing by a row of American flags. It will pass underneath another arch made by ladders from fire engines from the Lakewood Fire Dept.

11:22 a.m. - We understand a number of you are having difficulty watching our livestream of the memorial coverage. We are working on the problem and hope to have it resolved soon.

11:15 a.m. - Rep. Dave Reichert, the former King County Sheriff, is at the Tacoma Dome for the memorial. Sgt. Urquhart says Reichert's former partner was killed in the line of duty, so he knows what it's like to lose a close member of the department.

11:08 a.m. - On Ofc. Tina Griswold: "She was small in stature, but made up for that in being physically fit - very physically fit. She kept herself in great shape and actually encouraged other officers to partake in her workout regiment. Her mindset overcame her being smaller, which never came in the way of doing an outstanding job," said Sgt. Phil Comstock, Lacey Police Dept. "It's not always about being the biggest guy or the toughest fighter. It's about utilizing your verbal skills and your communication as well as being able to physically handle yourself. She combined all those to just do an outstanding job."

11:05 a.m. - 100 police officers from Boston are standing at attention, waiting to enter the Tacoma Dome. Seventy-six drummers and pipers representing the honor guard have gathered at the entrance to the Tacoma Dome parking lot.

11:03 a.m. - KING 5's Deborah Feldman reports that a Boy Scout troop is along the procession route because they feel a connection to anyone who wears a uniform. Some parents say they pulled their kids out of school because they feel this is as important a lesson as any they can learn in school.

10:58 a.m. - Procession arrives at 56th and S. Tacoma Way.

10:41 a.m. - The fallen officers' patrol vehicles and the hearses carrying their bodies leave the Lakewood Police Departmen. Fellow officers are saluting as the procession passes by.

10:33 a.m. - Sgt. John Urquhart, King Co. Sheriff's Office spokesman: "This is a watershed moment. This is the 9/11 for the Northwest because this has never happened before, not in this part of the country. So things are going to change. I'm not sure how we're all going to handle it, but how we go about our jobs will probably change."
 

10:23 a.m. - The family members of the fallen officers standing outside the Lakewood Police Department, preparing to watch the procession. The police cruisers of the four fallen officers are there. There are black banners with the officers' names draped along the doors.

10:19 a.m. - Kimberly Caldwell, one of the people watching the procession leave McChord AFB, tells KING 5's Jane McCarthy that she is there because she knew Officer Owens.

10:12 a.m. - People are already lining the procession route. They can be seen standing quietly, respectfully as the procession passes by. The vehicles are passing under an arch made by ladders extended from two fire engines. An American flag is hung between them.

10:03 a.m. - The procession is under way.

10 a.m. - We just saw an impressive shot from our helicoptes of police cars in several lines waiting to begin the procession. KING 5's Jane McCarthy reports 1,982 cars are at McChord AFB. The base is now asking any other police vehicles to park off site for the start of the procession.

9:48 a.m. - Westbound SR 512: Nine-mile backup from SR 161 (Meridian) in Puyallup to South Tacoma Way. Use alternate routes.
Westbound SR 512 left-turn lane to South Tacoma Way is closed to reduce traffic backups.


Southbound I-5: Two-mile backup 72nd Street to SR 512.

9:31 a.m. - From WSDOT press release:

Drivers should expect significant delays on westbound SR 512 at the intersection of South Tacoma Way from 9:30 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Dec. 8 during the memorial procession for four Lakewood police officers. Alternate routes are strongly recommended and motorists should avoid the area if possible.

9:29 a.m. - Pierce Co. Emergency Management says that there will be no more than 500 seats for members of the general public at the memorial service.  They doubt there will even be that many because estimates of how many officers are coming are on track to meet or exceed their expectations.

Members of the public are encouraged to go to a space along the procession route or to one of the alternate viewing locations.

Those who do come to the Tacoma Dome to try and get a seat should be prepared to wait in the cold for quite some time because they intend to make sure that every police officer who comes has a seat before they allow any members of the public to come in and pay their respects.
 

9:25 a.m. - Here's a list of just some of the police agencies represented in the motorcade:

1. Redmond
2. Duvall/Carnation
3. Lake Oswego
4. Klamath County
5. Lewis County
6. Spokane PD
7. WSP
8. Skagit Co.
9. Teton Co. - Wy
10. Burlington PD
11. PCSD
12. Beaverton OR PD
13. Tukwilla PD
14. US Customs and Border Patrol
15. Ashland OR PD
16. US Parks - Rangers
17. OR State Police
18. Bonney Lake PD
19. Olympia PD
20. Cornelius PD OR
21. Forest Grove PD
22. Kalis Pell PD (MT?)
23. Seattle PD
24. Tacoma School Patrol
25. Bellingham PD
26. Greys Harbor PD
27. Ocean Shores PD
28. US Forest Service
29. Westport PD
30. Lummi Nation - Tribal PD
31. Whatcom Co. PD
32. Upper Skagit Co PD
33. Montesano PD
34. Ferndale PD
35. Elma PD
36. McCleary PD
37. Cheney PD
38. W. Washington University
39. Connell PD
40. Thurston Co PD
41. Everson PD
42. Puyallup Nation - Tribal PD
43. Menominee PD
44. Renton PD
45. Tullalip PD
46. Chewelah PD
47. Port Orchard PD
48. Bremerton PD
49. Warrenton PD
50. Navy Region NW
51. Orting PD
52. Sumas PD
53. Edgewood PD
54. Puyallup PD
55. Porterville PD
56. Grants Pass
57. Kitsap County Sheriff
58. Bainbridge
59. Clatsop County
60. West Linn Oregon
61. King County
62. Lake Forrest Park
63. Port of Tacoma
64. Portland
65. Blaine
66. Fairview
67. Port of Seattle
68. Wahkiakum County
69. Yelm PD
70. Kent
71. Park County
72. Nisqually PD
73. Langley
74. Moses Lake
75. Douglas County
76. Winston PD
77. Fife PD
78. DEA
79. Milton Police Dept.
80. Turner Police Dept.
81. Evergreen State College
82. Transit Police
83. Clackamas County PD
84. Clackamas Sheriff's Office
85. Klamath Falls
86. Brookings PD
87. Josephine County OR
88. Bozeman MT
89. Roseburg OR PD
90. Auburn WA PD
91. Black Diamond
92. Golden Dale
93. DuPont
94. Normandy Park
95. Lebanon OR
96. Yakima PD
97. Yakima Sheriff
98. Steilacoom PD
99. Tacoma PD
100. Battleground PD
101. LaCenter PD
102. Boardman PD
103. Morrow County
104. Grants Pass
105. Poulsbo
106. Mason County
107. Snohomish County
108. Kennewick
109. Vancouver WA
110. Squaxin Island

111.Taylorsville PD
112. Airway Heights PD
113. Gresham PD
114. Shelton PD
115. University of WA PD
116. Latah Co PD
117. Eatonville Co PD
118. Tumwater PD
119. City of Sweet Home PD
120. Chehalis PD
121. Ridgefield PD
122. Key Peninsula Fire Dept.
123. Central Pierce Fire Dept.
124. Kent Fire Dept.
125. Buckley Fire Dept.
126. Tukwilla Fire Dept.
127. South Pierce Fire Dept.
128. PC Fire Districts (different #s)
129. Red Cross
130. Puyallup Fire Dept.
131. Westport Fire Dept.
132. Enumclaw Fire Dept.
133. Lakewood Fire Dept.
134. Cathlamet / Fire Dept. Oregon
135. Port of Seattle Fire Dept.
136. Snohomish Co. Fire Dept.
137. S. Kitsap Fire Dept.
138. American Medical Response
139. McClaine/Blacklake OR
140. UP Fire Dept.
141. Browns/Dash Point Fire Dept.
142. Little Rock Fire Dept.
143. Shoreline Fire Dept.
144. King County Fire Dept.
145. Duvall Fire Dept.
146. Redmond Fire Dept.
147. Mason Co. Fire Dept.
148. South Bay Fire Dept.
149. Griffin Fire Dept.
150. Rural Metro Fire Dept.
151. Whidbey General Fire Dept.
152. Central Kitsap Fire Dept.

9:15 a.m. - Thousands of law enforcement vehicles from around the country are currently staging at McChord AFB to prepare for the procession, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. Traffic near the base is backed up for miles.

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