One Year Later

One year ago today, Sgt. Dunakin, Sgt. Romans, Sgt. Sakai, and Ofr. Hege of the Oakland Police department gave their lives. Two of them died doing what I do every day. They were making what started out as a simple traffic stop. The other two died trying to catch the man that killed their brothers-in-arms.
This is a tough day for those of us that live and work close to Oakland and closely with OPD. We can’t imagine the grief and the struggle the families have gone through, but we continue to pledge our love and support to them.
Last year, I wrote a post to my kids after learning of the tragedy. It was more a stream of emotion than something I sat down to outline and format. The words you read then (and are welcome to read again or for the first time now) were my reaction to everything welling up inside. You can click here to read it.
Please continue to support your local law enforcement. Unless you’re one of us, you can never truly know how far a simple kind word or gesture can go to reinvigorate us and remind us of why we’re out here.
God bless OPD.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

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11 thoughts on “One Year Later

  1. If I remember correctly from my training, aren't traffic stops the #1 most dangerous thing for officers? I mean, like, they account for a super high percentage of calls PD are on if they are killed? That being said, you put yourself out there everyday. It takes a lot of dedication, bravery, and training to do what you do. I for one am very grateful. Thank you. God bless you and yours.

  2. I'm sorry for the loss of these fine officers. I wish I could offer words of comfort but sometimes I don't know what to say. Sometimes just the presence of people who care can be comforting.

    And I agree, support for our local departments gives us a chance to make a difference and to give something back to them for a change.

    May God bless you always.

  3. Everyone has the right to go to work and come home safe to their families. No one has the right to take that away. Most of us have employment where this is taken for granted as we go about our day. Your post is a reminder that we are not all as equally privileged.
    We have an internet symbol for a smiley face or a sad face as well as many others but what is the symbol for a hand shake? That is what I’d like to do right now. Shake your hand and the hands of other emergency workers and say thanks.
    My thoughts, my prayers and my thanks go out to all who help to protect us. Not just for the fallen and their families but also for the living. Keep safe one and all.

  4. This is an awful anniversary. It's also why I always smile and wave at cops. Why I say hi and thank you when they don't look like they're on purpose with something else. It's like all of life, we never know what the last thing we will say to someone will be, but cops choose to put themselves out there. For that they will always have the utmost respect from me.

    Thank you.

  5. I've been taking classes at our local Citizens' Police Academy. The Deputy Chief said they have one rule…they go home at the end of their shift. "Why? Because I don't want to piss off my wife."

    I have always had admiration for your profession since I was young and have always respected LEO's. I pray for all families whose loved ones gave the ultimate sacrifice doing their job. We are approaching a year here in Pittsburgh too.

    God bless.

  6. My last speeding ticket was 11 years ago. Early morning, long, straight stretch of road, four lane highway with center turn lane, no other traffic, and I topped out about 10 miles over the limit. Ah, well. The officer and I had what was actually a very cordial conversation about why I was getting a ticket and the car I was driving. I then sincerely thanked the officer for being out there on a holiday (4th of July) and doing his job.

  7. They had condolence books at Oakland City Hall last year. I went in and signed them .. it was one of the most emotional things I've ever done. I was outright sobbing by the 4th one. Then I walked outside and Channel 5 was there – she asked to interview me – I was sobbing with mascara running down my face. She asked me what I wanted to let them know…all I could think of is that we would miss them. It sounded stupid. But I meant we would miss their spirit and their being. I meant alot of other things too, but I couldn't verbalize them. I still can't – and my heart still aches when I think of them.

  8. For the life of me I don't understand why anyone would ever become a police officer, but thank God there are men and women out there willing to put themselves between us and THEM.
    I don't do well with THEM. It is better when there's an intervening 3rd party with powers of arrest and allowed to carry guns and such. And for that if nothing else, you all have my unwavering support. Those who serve with honor anyway. And not just on blogs. When it counts too.
    And I'll do my best-est not to cuss and grumble to myself when I see one of you setup catching soccer moms doing 41 in a 35, while my wife can't go to Whole Foods by herself safely.
    I swear.
    Be safe MC.

  9. In reading what you wrote to your children I could hear my husband's voice, saying the same things, not only to them, but to me.
    Any officer death anywhere in the country is personal for me.
    My heart and prayers are with you all.

  10. MC – That prior post again brought tears to my eyes! Every morning in the darkness of the prior night I hug my Officer as he walks me to my car. I go to work knowing fully well that he may never return home from work that day!

    Most Officer's do what they do – Not because they like to be spit on and cursed at all day.. and constantly have to be on guard and are never allowed to make a mistake.. (a small grammatical error could be disastrous), but because they are called to do it! Protect the freedom and rights of all the citizen's.

    The very same citizens that take Officer's rights and freedoms away! Jay… Officer's have no right's! I have learned this while I am married to one and what little rights he has with the job he does! It's sad.
    -Dispatcher