Our sympathies go out to the families of the slain officers and to all the employees of the Oakland Police Department. Memorial Services are set for this Friday at 11am in Oakland at the Oracle arena. Please try to attend and support the Oakland Police Department and all of their families in this time of grieving. Please see the below article for details on the services:
â€œCity Prepares For Slain Officers’ Funeral
Posted: 4:55 pm PDT March 26, 2009
OAKLAND, Calif. — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and state Attorney General Jerry Brown are among the thousands who will a attend a funeral Friday for four Oakland police officers killed over the weekend.
Schwarzenegger will meet privately with the officers’ family members prior to the 11 a.m. service at the Oracle Arena but isn’t scheduled to speak at the funeral, police Capt. Paul Figueroa said at a noon news conference at police headquarters.
The officers who will be remembered are Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, of Tracy, Sgt. Ervin Romans, 43, of Danville, Sgt. Daniel Sakai, 35, of Castro Valley and Officer John Hege, 41, of Concord.
Figueroa said Friday’s program tentatively calls for acting Police Chief Howard Jordan to be the first speaker, followed by Feinstein and Brown.
He said the indoor arena can accommodate about 18,000 people. Plans are being made to broadcast the service on a giant screen at the outdoor Oakland Coliseum next door if the arena is filled.
Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said law enforcement officers from throughout the state and the nation, as well as from foreign countries, are heading to the city to pay tribute to the fallen officers.
Thomason said 50 officers from the Boston Police Department are expected to attend and another department on the East Coast will be chartering a plane to fly a large number of officers to the ceremony.
The outpouring of support from other agencies and the public has been "very overwhelming," Thomason said, adding that the department has received up to 500 sympathetic e-mails a day since the officers were killed.
Outside agencies will police the city Friday in order to free up local officers for the funeral.
"Every effort is being made to have every Oakland Police Department employee attend," Thomason said.
The department has about 1,200 employees, including 815 sworn police officers, he said.
The Alameda County Sheriff’s Department is taking the lead in that effort, assisted by the California Highway Patrol and police from Berkeley, San Leandro and the East Bay Regional Park District.
"There will be no decrease in police services and there will be more officers on duty than normal for a Friday," Thomason said.
Figueroa said the service will likely last at least two and a half hours and is expected to be broadcast live across the nation.
Planning the large service "has been challenging but the families have been great," he said.
After Thursday’s news conference ended, a workman began engraving the names of the four slain officers on a memorial wall in the lobby of the police administration building. There are now 51 names on the wall, dating back to 1867.
Police say the officers were killed by 26-year-old Lovelle Mixon of Oakland, an ex-felon who was wanted on a no-bail warrant for allegedly violating his parole by failing to meet with his parole officer.
Mixon was killed at the end of his confrontation with police.
Figueroa said the Oakland Police Department arranged a private meeting Tuesday night among the officers’ the family members so that they wouldn’t meet each other for the first time at the service on Friday.
"It was an emotional meeting for everybody," Figueroa said, fighting back tears.
He said there will be formal honors for the fallen officers, including bagpipes, military cannons and flyovers by 20 helicopters from throughout the United States.
Thomason said police are encouraging the public to take BART to the service because processions will disrupt every freeway in the East Bay.
Backups are expected on southbound Highway 880 between West Grand Avenue and Hegenberger Road from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m., and in both directions on Highway 880 between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., according to the CHP.
The CHP will provide traffic control and will escort the families into and out of the arena, and may close ramps as needed along Highway 880, Interstate Highway 980, state Highway 238, Interstate Highway 680, and Interstate Highway 580 to make way for motorcades.
BART will run longer trains to accommodate those traveling to the funeral. Oracle Arena is a short walk from BART’s Coliseum/Oakland Airport station.
To avoid overcrowding at ticket machines after the service, BART encourages attendees to buy round-trip BART tickets at their points of origin.
Thomason encouraged those planning to attend the service to arrive early. The gates at the Oracle Arena’s parking lot will open at 7 a.m. and the arena’s doors will open at 9 a.m., he said.
Figueroa said there will be two hours of music, prayers and remembrance between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and there will be food for the general public after the service ends.
Thomason said security will be tight and video cameras won’t be allowed.â€