Lakewood officers honored at T-Birds game



Posted on December 6, 2009 at 6:53 PM

KENT, Wash. - Before the Seattle Thunderbirds faced off against the Everett Silvertips on Saturday night, a tribute echoed over the smooth ice.

Then, Lakewood police officers took the spotlight, dropping the ceremonial first pucks.

This may very well be the longest week in Lakewood Officer Joseph Kolp's life.

"Ever since they occurred Sunday morning, the entire department has been running 24/7," he said.

From consoling fellow officers to accepting the condolences of the public, the horror of coping with his colleagues' murders leaves him drained and exhausted.

"We're all tired, but we're all moving forward. We wanted to come here and show that the Lakewood Police Department will survive," said Kolp.

Officer Kolp has worked alongside each of the murdered officers - Sgt. Mark Renninger, Officers Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens and Gregory  Richards.

While fans rooted for their favorite team, his police union was pulling for the kids of the four fallen officers, accepting donations.

"Right now we've raised upwards of, unofficially, $450,000, but that doesn't meet the cost of what it take to get these nine kids to college so we're going to keep moving forward," said Kolp.

Many of those helping the children left behind are kids themselves.

"I wanted to be kind and be thankful for them," said 7-year-old Lucas Robinson.

The T-Birds will hold a fundraiser this week. On Wednesday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 9 p.m., 100 percent of online ticket sales to next Friday's game will benefit the officers' families.