A tribute to fallen officers

Memorial: Roy police chief uses his car to honor comrades killed on duty

February 19, 2011 

ROY POLICE CHIEF'S CAR

Roy Police Chief Jeff Prouty looks at his personalized 2005 Dodge Magnum on Wednesday that he had painted in tribute to fallen Lakewood police Sgt. Mark Renninger, Lakewood officers Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens and Greg Richards, and Pierce County sheriff's deputy Kent Mundell.

BY LUI KIT WONG/THE NEWS TRIBUNE — The Olympian

Jeff Prouty drives the midnight blue 2005 Dodge Magnum to work and back home. He takes it on errands, to the grocery store.

And with each trip, the chief of the small Roy Police Department honors five fellow Pierce County law enforcement officers who were fatally shot in the line of duty.

The car bears the names of Lakewood Sgt. Mark Renninger, officers Tina Griswold, Greg Richards and Ronald Owens, and Pierce County sheriff’s deputy Kent Mundell. They were killed in two shootings in late 2009.

“I had to do something,” Prouty said. “This is my way.”

The self-professed “gear head” hoped to finish the car in time for the first anniversary of the shootings, but couldn’t find the right vehicle.

About three months ago, he found the Magnum through a dealer. It was already painted dark blue, and he added 22-inch wheels and tires and enlisted Graham artist Bob Davidson to paint lighter blue and silver pinstripes.

The officers’ names and unit numbers are on the back of the car; above them are the words “End of watch.” Davidson did the work for free, finishing a couple of weeks ago.

Prouty drove the Magnum to the Roy Police Department on a recent morning. For him, the tribute is personal.

He and Renninger served together on a SWAT team, and Mundell – part of the sheriff’s Mountain Detachment – helped patrol southeastern Pierce County and often worked with Roy police.

They shared laughs on and off the job, Prouty said.

The officers’ slayings put in stark relief the dangers of police work, he said.

The Lakewood officers were shot in a Parkland coffee shop Nov. 29, 2009, while preparing for a shift. A few weeks later, Mundell was shot while responding to a domestic violence call near Eatonville.

Prouty said his tribute isn’t done. He hopes to have a police badge airbrushed next to the names.

“When people pull up behind, they’re going to see the names,” Prouty said. “I hope they never forget what these officers gave.”

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