Memorial for slain Seattle Police Officer Tim Brenton takes shape

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by TRICIA MANNING-SMITH / KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on October 23, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 23 at 5:16 PM

SEATTLE -- Neighbors in Seattle's Leschi community are pitching in to honor a police officer killed there.

Next weekend marks the one year anniversary of Seattle Police Officer Timothy Brenton's murder.  Officer Brenton was killed outside of Robert Cipollone's front door last Halloween night

"It was an awful tragedy," said Cipollone.

That's when Cipollone started to get to know his neighbors better.  "We all started to gather after it happened, a lot of grief, a lot of uncertainty."

And out of something horrible grew a closeness that has resulted in neighbors pitching in and building a memorial for Officer Brenton at the corner of 29th and Yesler.  It will feature Officer Brenton's badge number and a tree planted in his honor.

"It got easier as we starting working on this project.  It gave us something positive to focus on," said Cipollone.

In the background quietly pitching in, are officer Brenton's family:  his mother, brother and sister. Brenton's father met the organizer of his son's memorial for the first time.

"I'm totally amazed at the amount of effort these folks have done," said Boyd Brenton.

It helps Boyd Brenton to see this neighborhood thrive after so many horrible memories here. Boyd Brenton is a retired Seattle cop.  He says his son Timothy's dream was to be a policeman.  But Boyd Brenton never dreamed his own son would die in the line of duty.

"I've gone through the various stages that people go through in grief.  What if I hadn't encouraged him?   What if I hadn't paved the way for him?" questions Boyd Brenton.  "But you can't go back and re-do it.  You don't get a do-over."

This coming week will be grueling for the Brenton family and the Leschi community.  But the memorial shows that Leschi neighbors refuse to be defined by tragedy.

"I see a marker of someone who died, but I also see how a community bonded over it," said memorial organizer Robert Cipollone.

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