Fourteen law enforcement officers – including six from the Lakewood Police Department and Pierce County Sheriff’s Office – will be honored today during a ceremony in Olympia.
Gov. Chris Gregoire and state Attorney General Rob McKenna will award the officers with the Medal of Honor, the state’s highest honor for law enforcement.The medal is given to officers who are killed in the line of duty, were seriously injured or displayed exceptionally meritorious conduct.
The annual ceremony begins at 1 p.m. at the state’s Law Enforcement Memorial on the Capitol Campus in Olympia. The event is open to the public but space is limited. TVW will be broadcasting the ceremony.
Lakewood police Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens and Greg Richards and Pierce County sheriff’s deputy Kent Mundell will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously. The Lakewood officers were killed Nov. 29 as they started their shift in a Parkland coffee shop. Mundell was mortally wounded Dec. 21 in a shootout with a drunken man in an Eatonville-area home.
Lewis County deputy Stephen Michael Gallagher Jr. and Seattle police officer Timothy Brenton also will receive the honor posthumously.
Pierce County sheriff’s Sgt. Nick Hausner is one of three officers who will receive the Medal of Honor after being injured in the line of duty. Hausner was shot in the neck during the Dec. 21 shootout that killed Mundell. Hausner recently returned to work. Also receiving the award are Seattle police officer Britt Sweeney and Clallam County sheriff’s deputy William Cortani Jr.
Four Seattle police officers will receive the Medal of Honor for their meritorious conduct. Among those is officer Benjamin Kelly, who shot and killed Maurice Clemmons two days after he killed the four Lakewood officers.