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Kingston tips its coffee mug to law enforcement

KINGSTON — To the men and women who keep the peace, a hot cup of coffee and a thank you.

Until the end of the month, or until the money runs down to the last drop, law enforcement officers in uniform can get a free drink at The Coffee Exchange in Kingston, 11229 NE State Highway 104.

The money for the coffee comes courtesy of a group of Kingston residents unofficially called “Kingston Community Citizens.” The official name of the group, if it has a name, isn’t supposed to be known. The group that donated money to pay for the hot chocolate or espresso choose to remain anonymous.

The free cup of coffee, roasted in Kingston, is a gesture of appreciation meant to recognize the dangers of the job, illustrated in the ambushes and deaths of five Western Washington police officers since the end of October.

Despite the many law enforcement officers in Kingston Monday following a robbery at the Bank of America, not one officer has stopped in to take up the offer, said Coffee Exchange owner Randy Olson.

“I haven’t seen any of them,” Olson said. The sign on the door went up Sunday, and the offer stands through Dec. 31.

There is about $112 in the account to pay for the drinks. Olson said the effort was a way for Kingston residents to show they were grateful for the job officers do in light of the recent killings.

“We all take them for granted I think, then something like that happens and you go, ‘Wow, we should do something to help these guys out.’”

Seattle Police Officer Timothy Brenton was shot and killed Oct. 31. Lakewood Police Sgt. Mark Renninger and officers Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens and Greg Richards were shot and killed Nov. 29.

Olson said the coffee shop and roaster and the Kingston group arranged for the offer, but the group insisted the donation be kept anonymous.

“This group is pretty quiet,” he said.

Kitsap Sheriff’s spokesman Scott Wilson was a patrol deputy in North Kitsap and said these kinds of efforts from residents can help make up for the abuse law enforcement officers sometimes encounter.

“For all the bad names,” Wilson said. “At least this group thinks highly enough of us to do this.”

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