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Originally published December 7, 2009 at 12:06 AM | Page modified December 7, 2009 at 4:44 PM

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Corrected version

Tuesday memorial to four officers comes together swiftly

Many details go into the planning of Tuesday's memorial service for the four Lakewood police officers, which is expected to attract some 20,000 mourners.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Memorial service

The procession: Begins at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the north gate of McChord Air Force Base and proceeds through Lakewood to the Tacoma Dome.

The service: The Tacoma Dome opens at 11 a.m. The service starts at 1 p.m.

Parking: It will be limited. Free bus service will be provided, from 10:30 a.m. until noon, from two off-site parking lots to the Tacoma Dome, and will resume after the ceremony. The two parking areas are Cheney Stadium, 2502 S. Tyler St. in Tacoma, and the north parking lot of the Tacoma Mall.

Viewing alternatives: The public can watch the service from Pacific Lutheran University's Olson Auditorium, 124th Street South and 10th Avenue South, Parkland. Doors open at 9 a.m. Local network-television stations also plan to air the service live.

Coverage from the days following the Lakewood shootings

Tuesday memorial to four officers comes together swiftly

Lakewood Officer Tina Griswold was a 'ball of fire' in a tiny package

A path to murder: The story of Maurice Clemmons

Gallery | Maurice Clemmons: Path to Murder

Officer Gregory Richards was 'the golden boy'

Officer Richards' wife knew he would do his duty, no matter what

Lakewood Police Officer Ronald Owens was always smiling

Prosecutors want Clemmons' sister held in custody

Clemmons' sister taken into custody in courtroom

Clemmons repeatedly slipped through the cracks

Bank accounts may be sign Clemmons planned getaway

Lakewood Police Sgt. Mark Renninger was devoted to family, dedicated to police work

Bail-bond agents gamble on unknown

Clemmons' sister arrested during court hearing

Repeat offenders would be denied bail under measure

Nicole Brodeur | Help is coming for aunt

Clemmons traveled to meet New York minister, citing God's instructions

Clemmons' half-brother charged with helping killer elude police

Clemmons investigated by drug enforcement authorities after he moved here in 2004

More than 20,000 people expected at Tuesday's memorial for officers

Arkansas governor and Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire confer on parolees, Clemmons

Coffee shop where officers killed remains closed

Details on Tuesday memorial for four slain officers

Trusted aunt chose to do the 'right thing'

Clemmons' driver denies knowledge of plot to kill

Over 2,000 attend Lakewood vigil for 4 slain officers

Graham neighborhood embraces grieving family

Alleged accomplice used an alias

Coffee shop where officers killed remains closed

Who leaked photo of Clemmons' body? Investigations launched

Clemmons couldn't be held after 'safety net' dissolved

Calendar of memorials and vigils for slain Lakewood officers

Loyal friends, family helped Clemmons flee police

Gregoire: no more Arkansas parolees

Alleged getaway driver in officers' slaying could face murder charges

Uncle: 'He was all about money ... suddenly, he was all about God'

Routine stolen-car check led to Lakewood police-slaying suspect

Danny Westneat | Fixing blame won't fix this mess

Jerry Large | Answers more than skin deep

Public brings flowers, candles, prayers for fallen officers

E-mails show Washington state battled to keep Clemmons in custody

States at odds over warrant that might have kept Clemmons in jail

2 men charged, several others suspected of aiding alleged cop killer

Lakewood police shooting suspect shot dead by police in South Seattle early this morning

Memorial for slain officers to be next Tuesday at Tacoma Dome

Outpouring of support for families of slain officers grows

Four days in May set stage for Sunday's tragedy

Clemmons' diagnosis: stress

Persuasive appeal helped Clemmons win clemency

Political death blow for Huckabee?

How you can help

Law-enforcement officials believe Clemmons has been sheltered by family, friends

Attack on Lakewood police likely worst in state history

Slain Lakewood officers leave holes in community fabric

Furious hunt for suspect in Lakewood police slayings creates unease for black men

Grief, gratitude for slain officers

'Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom': Neighbors describe shooting of suspect

Nicole Brodeur: Breathless in Leschi — and it's not the view

RAW VIDEO: Scene where Clemmons shot by police

AUDIO | Suspect killed in Seattle

Interactive map and timeline

See the latest tweets on #WAshooting, #lakeshoot and #WAshoot

Gallery | Maurice Clemmons Killed, Community Mourns Slain Officers

Gallery | Ceda Clemmons' Damaged Home

Monday coverage

Suspect released in Arkansas after claiming he had changed

Gallery | Police search for suspected cop killer

Gallery | Lakewood police officers killed

Video | Community reflects on slain police

Video | Police shooting: Man who helped baristas

Video | SPD Det. Jeff Kappel speaks about 11-hour standoff

Brenton family statement on slain Lakewood officers

Latest on Lakewood shooting: Police searching near Dr. José Rizal Park

Police still searching for suspected cop killer

Sunday coverage

Police union sets up fund for slain officers

Former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee has controversial record of freeing criminals

Lakewood Police Department created just 5 years ago

Police again see themselves as targets

Slain officers respected for careers, family life

Lakewood police slayings appear to be worst of their kind in state history

Shocked, grieving community holds vigil for officers

Coffee house owner: Shootings 'hit close to home'

Maurice Clemmons clemency and parole documents (PDF)

Statement from Mayor Douglas Richardson and City Manager Andrew Neiditz (PDF)

City of Lakewood identifies officers (PDF)

Related links

Law justifying use of deadly force

Facebook page honoring fallen officers | Eyewitness accounts

Video | Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer discusses Lakewood slaying


LAKEWOOD, Pierce County — Among the many details that need to be just right for Tuesday's memorial service is the matter of exactly how the U.S. flags should be folded.

There will be four flags, one draped over each of the caskets of the four slain Lakewood police officers, and the flags will be presented to their families.

"It takes a lot of practice to learn how to fold them so they don't bleed," said Frank Kampsen, 63, a retired Seattle police detective who in the past four decades has attended some 50 memorial services for officers.

"The flags are longer than usual so they can drape over the casket," Kampsen said. "It's considered bad protocol if there is red showing" once they are folded.

Kampsen has been in honor guards, knows the protocol and is director of the Behind the Badge Foundation, which helps families of police officers killed or catastrophically injured in the line of duty.

Then there is the matter of whether to have a 21-gun salute.

"We decided some families wouldn't want to hear the sound of a rifle," Kampsen said.

Instead, a large brass bell hung on a tripod will be brought out, and there will be a 21-bell salute.

The region went into shock over the slayings of Lakewood police Sgt. Mark Renninger and Officers Tina Griswold, Gregory Richards and Ronnie Owens, gunned down by Maurice Clemmons on Nov. 29 at a Pierce County coffee shop.

That was on a Sunday morning.

By 10 a.m. the next day, the planning for Tuesday's memorial at the Tacoma Dome — expected to attract some 20,000 mourners — had begun.

That includes 1,000 to 2,000 officers from out of state, including an estimated 600 from British Columbia, and 100 each from Chicago and New York. Some are driving their police vehicles; many others are flying in. The officers are receiving special lodging rates at local motels.

It's expected to be the biggest such memorial in state history, said Kampsen, eclipsing the 7,500 or so who attended the Nov. 6 memorial for slain Seattle police Officer Timothy Brenton, and the 10,000-some who attended a memorial for four Seattle firefighters who died in the 1995 Pang International Foods arson.

Somebody had to take care of the hundreds of details for the memorial, and the relatively small Lakewood Police Department, serving a community of 60,000, was overwhelmed.

So Tom Miner, a Pierce County Incident Management Team leader, got the call.

The team had been formed to help deal with such crises as wildfires. Those same skills can be used to plan a large public event.

It would be expected an event attracting so many people — with a car procession that will travel eight to 10 miles, with sharpshooters and SWAT teams assigned to security at the Dome — would take weeks of preparation.

For the Lakewood officers, it was completed in 3 ½ days.

Their fellow officers from numerous jurisdictions showed up to work in a meeting room at the Lakewood police station. More than 50 of them worked at folding tables, typing away at laptops and seemingly glued to their cellphones.

Finances were not a problem. Use of the Tacoma Dome was free. UPS Stores printed 25,000 programs for free. Various shops brought in free food, coffee and bottles of water for the officers working at the command center.

The actual costs so far have been less than $20,000, with various police guilds and nonprofits covering the expenses.

You do this, you do that, Miner told the cops working the memorial service, and they went to work.

Details included having Lakewood police dispatchers make a recording with the radio call letters of each of the slain officers.

Just like the final roll call at a military funeral, in which a soldier's name is called out three times to an obvious no response, this funeral will have a final radio call.

Kampsen said the recording will end with the dispatcher saying the call letters for the slain officer, ending with, "Out of service. Gone but not forgotten."

For Kampsen, that likely will be the most emotional part of the service. It will affect him.

Fifty cop funerals.

"These memorial services never get easier," he said.

Erik Lacitis: 206-464-2237 or

An earlier version of this story, published Monday, December 8, 2009, and corrected Monday, December 8, 2009, incorrectly spelled Frank Kampsen's last name. We regret the error.

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