When Bonney Lake police officers were making the long drive back from Cle Elum with James Larson, they had a lot on their mind.
But as the procession drove through Enumclaw, past Southwood Elementary, their spirits were lifted by the sight of the whole Lake Tapps Hornets lacrosse team — a part of the Lake Tapps Lacrosse Club — taking a knee out of respect for Larson, who died in an avalanche March 3.
Officer Todd Green, Larson’s partner, said the department had been talking about that moment ever since, so they organized a time to get together with the athletes.
On April 4, coach Ben Craighead took the team to Frankie’s in Enumclaw — courtesy of another community member who heard of what the team did via word-of-mouth — but they didn’t know they’d be visited by a very thankful police department.
“We saw a ton of things, but the coolest thing our officer saw was your team going to that fence and kneeling for us,” Green said after entering the restaurant. “That showed an amazing amount of respect… [Jimmy] would have loved to see that.”
“We’re in a climate right now where people are not looking out for each other anymore. And we need to change that,” Green continued. “We need more people like you guys, that are taking charge, that are doing neat things like that and showing respect.”
Green was joined by Sergeant Ron Sasaki and Officer Mark Koehn, who also thanked the kids.
“I’ve been a police officer for 24 years. I work with some of the toughest men and women you could ever run across, but what you guys did, that small show of support, that brought tears to every single one of us,” Sasaki said.
As a gift, the officers presented the team with stickers for their helmets that bare Larson’s radio number on them.