Friday, March 27, 2009

OPD LODD: A SEA OF BLUE AND BACKED UP TOO!


The funeral for the fallen Oakland Police officers is scheduled for March 27, 2009, at 11:00 AM.

Service scheduled to begin at 1100hrs, The services will be led by the Rev. Jayson Landeza, chaplain of the Oakland Police Department. The playing of bagpipes, a 21-gun salute with a military cannon and flyovers will follow speakers.

Law enforcement officers from all 50 states and a handful of foreign countries are expected to pour into the Oracle Arena and the arena could be packed with as many as 12,000 police officers.

The services will be held at the Oracle Arena, 7000 Coliseum Way, Oakland. The services are open to the public. We are asking officers from outside agencies and attendees to arrive early.

The funeral is open to the public, but Oakland police Capt. Paul Figueroa stressed that the sole priority is to "honor our fallen officers and their families." The families met together with the department Tuesday to go over planning, Figueroa said.

"We are guests at a private funeral, and we have the honor of being there," Figueroa said.

Processions will begin from the cities where the officers lived at 8 a.m., and members of the Police Department will be bused to the funeral.

PLEASE USE PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION IF POSSIBLE

Amtrak is providing complimentary travel to all police officers, active, reserve and retired traveling to and from the memorial.

BART has a station at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum/Oracle arena members of the public who wish to attend the services are urged to take BART to avoid traffic snarls. Parking lots will open at 7 a.m., and the doors to the arena will open at 9 a.m.

Overflow crowds will be invited to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, where a big screen will broadcast the service.--

Parking lots open at 7:30 a.m., and the arena will open by 9 a.m.-- Drivers should use the 66th Avenue exit off Interstate 880. -- Find more information and directions at www.opoa.org/funeral.


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Google Map - OPD LODD - Oracle Arena

Schwarzenegger Orders Flags At Half-Staff in California

An illuminated sign above the entry has the words "Forever Heroes." The Arena will open and start seating at 9 a.m. Law officers and other mourners were expected to fill the 16,900-seat Oracle Arena on Friday. The service will air at Oakland Coliseum and community centers as well.

The four fallen Oakland Police officers killed in the line of duty

Officer John Hege

Officer John Hege, 41, of Concord

Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, of Danville
Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, of Danville

Oakland Police Sgt. Daniel Sakai
Oakland Police Sgt. Daniel Sakai

Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, of Tracy, ca
Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, of
Tracy

Funeral updates:
Traffic Update: 1630 -Huge Police Funeral procession eastbound 580 in Livermore heading towards Tracy at 4:30, Large Fire presence on overpasses from 580 Mountain House west on 580...Freeways impacted throughout the Bay Area

Update: 1345 - 21,000+ in attendance, the crowd inside the arena is estimated at 19,000, with at least 2,000 more watching the service on jumbo screens next door at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Update: 1315 - One of the most affecting tributes came from Oakland police Capt. Edward Tracey, commander of the SWAT team that cornered Mixon.

"These were my men," he said. "They died doing what they loved: riding in motorcycles, kicking in doors, serving in SWAT."

Tracey thanked the citizens who called police after the traffic stop and singled out a man who performed CPR on Dunakin at the scene. He also addressed the members of the SWAT team present when Romans and Sakai were killed.

"Console yourself knowing that they spent their last moments in your company," he said. He also told the officers not to let the deaths "hold you back."

The officers' coffins lined the front of the arena. The tall black motorcycle boots that Dunakin and Hege wore were placed by their caskets and their beloved motorcycles sat nearby.

Individual eulogies from friends, colleagues and relatives of the officers sketched portraits of dedicated, hard-working family men.

Dunakin, 40, known as "Dunny," was the life of the party who loved looking good on his motorcycle. Hege, 41, volunteered to work overtime at the Coliseum during Raiders home games to see his favorite team. Romans, 43, a former Marine Corps drill sergeant, was an avid hunter and enjoyed cooking up his game. Sakai, 35, was a former Boy Scout who loved backpacking through untouched wilderness.

Outside, a sea of police vehicles filled the parking lot. A contingent of Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrived on horses.

New York City police Lt. Tommy Ng, who attended the ceremony, said the tragedy brought back memories of Sept. 11. He said he was not surprised by the outpouring of support.

"When one of us is hurt, all of us are hurt," Ng said before the service. "We're all brothers."

Minneapolis police Sgt. Steve Blackwell and three other officers drove two squad cars from Minnesota over three days to attend Friday's service.

"It's a national tragedy," Blackwell said, "so it cuts pretty deep. We want to let the people of Oakland see that we care. I hope that this city finds strength from this tragedy to move ahead." - modbee.com - Link

Update: 1215 - Oakland Police officer Cesar Garcia, left, escorts relatives of OPD Sgt. Dan Sakai for the funeral services for the four slain Oakland Police officers at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, March 27, 2009 Photo credit: (Ray Chavez/Mercury News - Link

1205- Funeral service underway - Fr. Jayson Landeza, OPD Chaplain, started services with a prayer after the national anthem was sung.

The entire 815-member Oakland Police Department, wearing dress white caps and gloves and black mourning bands on their badges, filled the front rows, saluting their fallen brethren as their flag-draped caskets were carried inside
1105 - Arena has reached its capacity of 19,000 - overflow crowd is being redirected to the Coliseum next door, where screens have been set up.
1100 - Service scheduled to begin, The services will be led by the Rev. Jayson Landeza, chaplain of the Oakland Police Department. The playing of bagpipes, a 21-gun salute with a military cannon and flyovers will follow speakers.
1030 - Officials expect more than 19,000 people at the service.
1015 - Schwarzenegger is scheduled to meet privately with the families before the service.
0850 - About 5,000, mostly uniformed police, waiting to go in
At least 5,000 are already waiting to go in, mostly uniformed officers from around the state and country, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Piedmont, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Bakersfield, Emeryville, Portland, UC Berkeley, San Diego and Irvine. The U.S. Coast Guard has officers here too.
0830 - Schwarzenegger and Boxer added to speakers list: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer have been added to the speakers list for today's funeral, police officials said today. Other speakers include acting police Chief Howard Jordan, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, state Attorney General Jerry Brown, and family and friends of the officers.
0815 - Oracle Arena starting to fill up
0800 - Funeral processions were scheduled to begin at from the cities where the four officers lived to Oracle Arena, while buses were ready to pick up Oakland police officers and civilians.

Funeral processions: All Bay Area Freeways impacted - All processions will begin at 8 a.m. from the cities where the officers lived.

"Freeways will be shut down during the procession," Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said. "It will affect every freeway. Bear with us — this is a major event."

CHP Sgt. Trent Cross warned that people should expect delays on southbound Interstate 880 between West Grand Avenue and Hegenberger Road from 8 to 11 a.m. and both directions from 3 to 6 p.m.

Cross said that the CHP will run traffic breaks and provide escorts for funeral processions on Interstates 880, 980, 680 and 580, and State Highway 238. On-ramps along those freeways may be closed temporarily as the entourage passes, Cross said.

As many as 19,000 people are expected to attend, including 12,000 police officers. About 75 officers from the Boston Police Department alone arrived in Oakland this week

Firefighters offer aid and comfort to Police:

When awful, unexplainable things happen, sometimes the best thing is a warm meal served by a friend who has been there before.

That's why Oakland firefighters loaded up on hamburger and tri-tip steak and took over the kitchen at the Oakland Police Officers Association, to serve comfort food to a force reeling from the slaying of four of its officers last weekend.

Firefighters lit the grill and worked the room, offering round-the-clock meals and conversation since Monday morning.

"We are there to talk to the guys," said Lt. Chuck Garcia, president of the Oakland branch of the International Association of Firefighters. "This is a big, crazy city. We have to be there for each other."

Two professional counselors and a medical doctor also are offering their services.

Grief is rippling from department headquarters on Seventh Street throughout the city after the shooting deaths Saturday of Sgts. Mark Dunakin, 40, of Tracy, Ervin Romans, 43, of Danville, and Daniel Sakai, 35, of Castro Valley, by Lovelle Mixon, a 26-year-old parolee whom police had pulled over in a routine traffic stop. Mixon was killed in a shootout with SWAT officers. - SF Chronicle

Police officers from across the country: "We're honored to be here," said Kelly McCormick, deputy superintendent with the Boston Police Department. "In a time of tragedy like this, it's only right for us to do this, to come out and show the Oakland department that officers from 3,000 miles away support you. It could be my agency tomorrow. It could be my friends tomorrow. We're all part of the same family."

About 75 officers from the Boston Police Department alone arrived in Oakland this week.

Live Streaming video: ABC7 - Link
Guest books:
Post condolences for Mark Dunakin, Erv Romans, Dan Sakai, John Hege

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