27
Mar
09

In This My Home

Last Saturday, in the city I call my home, one lone, desperate individual took the lives of four police officers. I sit here, having just watched, on television, the end of a three hour memorial attended by more than 20,000 fellow officers and citizens, saddened and outraged that this could happen…anywhere! These four men died simply because they were doing their jobs.

I came of age in the turbulent 60’s. In those days, many of my peers had little or no respect for cops. As it was, we called them pigs. We had no regard for anyone in authority, anyone whom we held responsible for the troubles of the day. Just as we (incorrectly and unfortunately) blamed the military for the Viet Nam war, we blamed the police for enforcing any law which we felt oppressed us. Some even help the cops responsible for the commonplace race riots of the times. It’s all so simple to single out a group or groups and vent all anger, misplaced or not. But it is folly and irresponsible.

I’m not saying that there has never been legitimate complaint against law enforcement. Though not commonplace here, racial profiling does exist. There has, in the past, been selective enforcement of the law, favoring public officials and/or their families. But none of this gives excuse to the tradegy visited on my community.

We are all diminished by the horror of last Saturday. Oakland has longed suffered, by comparison, in the shadow of it’s big sister across the bay. It’s citizens have worked hard and long to dust off the undeserved reputation of violence and intolerance. I can only hope and pray that the outpouring of love, gratitude and respect shown by my fellow citizens today will translate into a renewed attitude and determination to make Oakland a home of which we can continue to be proud.

Follows is the Congressional Resolution introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee of Oakland:

1ST SESSION H. RES. ll

Honoring the lives, and mourning the loss, of Sergeant Mark Dunakin,

Sergeant Ervin Romans, Sergeant Daniel Sakai, and Officer John Hege,

members of the Oakland Police Department in California who were

brutally slain in the line of duty.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

RESOLUTION

Honoring the lives, and mourning the loss, of Sergeant Mark

Dunakin, Sergeant Ervin Romans, Sergeant Daniel

Sakai, and Officer John Hege, members of the Oakland

Police Department in California who were brutally slain

in the line of duty.

Whereas since May 17, 1792, when Deputy Sheriff Isaac

Smith of the New York City Sheriffs Office was killed,

more than 18,270 Federal, State, and local law enforcement

officers have died in the line of duty;

Whereas on Saturday, March 21, 2009, in Oakland, California,

Sergeant Mark Dunakin, Sergeant Ervin Romans,

Sergeant Dan Sakai, and Officer John Hege, all of theOakland Police Department, were killed by gunfire while

serving in the line of duty;

Whereas the senseless slaying of Sergeants Dunakin, Romans,

and Sakai, and Officer Hege represents the first

multiple-fatality shooting incident of law enforcement officers

in the United States in more than a year, and the

first time in more than 15 years that 4 law enforcement

officers were killed by gunfire in the line of duty in a single

incident;

Whereas the killing of Sergeants Dunakin, Romans, and

Sakai, and Officer Hege represents the deadliest incident

involving California public safety officers since the infamous

‘‘Newhall Incident’’ occurred nearly 40 years ago in

Los Angeles County on April 6, 1970, when 4 California

highway patrolmen were killed in a gun battle with

2heavily armed suspects, an incident so traumatic and

shocking to the Nation that it galvanized the movement

to reform police training procedures, firearms use, and

arrest techniques;

Whereas the slaying of Sergeants Dunakin, Romans, and

Sakai, and Officer Hege serve as a reminder that the

risks assumed by police officers daily in serving and protecting

their communities continue to be enormous, ever

present, and lethal, even as the number of law enforcement

officers killed by gunfire in the United States has

steadily declined over the last 20 years;

Whereas the bravery, devotion to duty, and love of community

of these fallen heroes has forever earned them a

place in the hearts and memories of the citizens they willingly

risked their lives to protect, an honor that comes

at enormous cost to the people who knew them best, loved them most, and remember them simply as husbands,

fathers, brothers, sons, and friends;

Whereas Sergeant Mark Dunakin of Tracy, California, was

an 18-year veteran of the Oakland Police Department, a

graduate of Chabot College in Hayward, California, an

experienced homicide investigator, and according to his

captain, ‘‘a cop’s cop,’’ who was ‘‘absolutely committed to

anything that he leads’’ and absolutely devoted to his

wife Angela and their 3 children;

Whereas Sergeant Ervin ‘‘Erv’’ Romans of Danville, California,

was a 13-year veteran of the Oakland Police Department,

one of the most capable members of the Oakland

Police SWAT Team, and highly respected for his

work in the Narcotics Division of the Department, where

he was responsible for solving several major drug cases;

Whereas Sergeant Daniel Sakai of Castro Valley, California,

was considered by his peers and supervisors as a rising

star on the Oakland Police SWAT Team, where he served

as leader of the entry team and was beloved for his dedication

to serving others, as evidenced by his previous

work as a community service officer at University of California,

Berkeley, escorting students around campus at

night, and his tenure as an English teacher in Japan, but

most of all by his devotion to his wife Jennifer and their

young daughter;

Whereas Officer John Hege of Concord, California, was a 10-

year veteran of the Oakland Police Department who

graduated from St. Mary’s College of California, taught

at Tennyson High School in Hayward, California, loved

both his dog and umpiring high school baseball games,

and knew the incredible joy of realizing his cherished

dream of becoming a motorcycle cop, and who could al-ways be counted on by his colleagues to be one of the

first to respond to requests for assistance or to cheerfully

volunteer to help on departmental projects; and

Whereas in the face of this horrible loss, the people of Oakland,

California, have come together and rededicated

themselves to making Oakland the safe and peaceful community

that Sergeants Dunakin, Romans, and Sakai, and

Officer Hege sacrificed their lives to preserve and defend:

Now, therefore, be it

1 Resolved, That the House of Representatives extends

2 its condolences to the families and loved ones of Oakland

3 Police Department Sergeant Mark Dunakin, Sergeant

4 Ervin Romans, Sergeant Daniel Sakai, and Officer John

5 Hege and stands in solidarity with the people of Oakland,

6 California, their neighbors in the East Bay, and entire

7 Bay Area community, as they celebrate the lives, and

8 mourn the loss, of these 4 remarkable and selfless heroes

9 who represented the best of their community and the fu

10 ture the people of Oakland are determined to create for

11 their children, grandchildren, and generations to come.

VerDate 0ct 09 2002 11:02 Mar 26, 2009 Jkt 000000 PO 00000 Frm 00001 Fmt 6652 Sfmt 6300 C:\TEMP\LEE_045.XML HOLCPC

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