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Lakewood Police Get Sad Reminder of Recent Tragedy

Lakewood Police Get Sad Reminder of Recent Tragedy

Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor talks to reporters near the scene of a shooting that involved two Pierce County Sheriff's deputies. (AP Photo)

The News Tribune via YellowBrix

December 23, 2009

Monday night’s shooting of two Pierce County sheriff’s deputies hit home for Lakewood police, less than a month after they lost four officers at the hands of a single shooter.

This time, tragedy struck 30 miles southeast, near Eatonville. Lakewood sent four or five patrol cars to assist at the scene and provide backup, Police Chief Bret Farrar said Tuesday.

“My people were just happy to help,” he said. “Bottom line is, we’re all law enforcement. We help each other out.”

Lakewood’s connection to the incident runs even deeper because one of the victims, Sgt. Nicholas Hausner, patrolled the city’s streets as a deputy before Lakewood formed its own department in 2004.

Farrar said he was a detective when Hausner was a deputy in Lakewood, though the two didn’t work directly with each other.

Monday’s shooting sent shock waves through the Lakewood police force, which lost Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Ronald Owens, Tina Griswold and Greg Richards at a Parkland coffee shop Nov. 29. Maurice Clemmons, their killer, was shot dead by a Seattle police officer a few days later.

The department has since participated in dozens of vigils and other ceremonies. At one point, a makeshift memorial outside its headquarters stretched around a street corner. One example of how the city has started to find closure: The memorial was gone Tuesday.

Monday’s shootings were a reminder of the daily perils faced by those wearing a police uniform.

“It’s another tragedy,” said Lakewood assistant chief Mike Zaro. “It delays everybody’s ability to move forward. It’s very sad.”

Meanwhile, a Facebook page dedicated to the four slain Lakewood officers turned into a cathartic place for residents to express concern and outrage about the latest police shootings.

“God, I pray you hold these 2 Sheriff’s in your healing hand & watch over their families, & all brothers & sisters in the force during this difficult time. Please do not let us lose any more officers,” wrote Sue Green Meister in a post Tuesday afternoon.

“What can be done about this??? I think I’m gonna be sick … I pray for all of us!” Teresa A. Hunt wrote shortly before midnight Tuesday.

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