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Island County joins procession for fallen officers
At least a dozen law enforcement officers from Island County are among the thousands attending the memorial service at the Tacoma Dome for the four Lakewood officers who were killed last month.
Oak Harbor Police Chief Rick Wallace said four of his officers left early Tuesday morning to drive their cars in the procession. A number of Explorer cadets also are helping with parking outside the dome.
At least eight deputies from the Island County Sheriff's Office went to the memorial service. Rick Karjalainen, the pastor for the Sheriff's Office, carpooled with several deputies. Deputy Scott Fague volunteered to help with traffic.
Sheriff Mark Brown said he expects the memorial service to "unprecedented" in scope. He volunteered as an honor guard for 18 years when he worked for the State Patrol, so he's familiar with memorial services for fallen officers.
"It's very emotional. It's a reality check and makes you understand the danger of the job we do," he said. "It's very humbling and hard not to tear up."
The Seattle Times reported that 2,000 law enforcement vehicles took part in the three-and-a-half hour procession.
Lakewood police Sgt. Mark Renninger and Officers Tina Griswold, Gregory Richards and Ronnie Owens were killed by Maurice Clemmons on Nov. 29 at a Pierce County coffee shop.