I recently asked a few of my friends to furnish me with comments they’d like to pass along to PoliceOne Members on this solemn anniversary. Here’s some of what they said.
“As much as we strive to keep the walls bare officers inevitably fall in the line of duty doing deeds they know to be very dangerous. In the Bible John 15:13 it is written: ‘There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’ On this anniversary of the death of those four brave Oakland officers who live on in glory, I would like to say unashamedly on behalf of all brothers and sisters of the badge, ‘John, Mark, Daniel and Ervin... we remember your life, we remember your bravery, we remember your sacrifice, and we love you right back’.”
— ‘Lt. Dan’ Marcou, PoliceOne Columnist
“Too much has already been written about career criminal Lovelle Mixon and not enough about the four Oakland officers who died by his hand three years ago. Here’s what people need to remember about those four fallen heroes. Mark Dunakin survived a serious motorcycle accident just one year earlier — yet recovered to ride again. John Hege’s organs were donated the day he died. Erv Romans was a Medal of Valor recipient — ten years earlier. Dan Sakai, a UC Berkeley grad, taught English in Japan prior to becoming a cop. As Vivian Eney Cross said, ‘It is not how these officers died that made them heroes — it is how they lived.”
— Dave Grossi, PoliceOne Columnist
“Three years ago today, a profound tragedy struck the law enforcement family. Oakland California is one of the events where anyone affected can tell you exactly where they were and what they were doing when they learned of the loss. I was preparing for my first day back in patrol after a three year assignment to the police academy. To say this incident gave me pause is an understatement. Although I did not know these men personally, Sergeants Mark Dunakin, Ervin Romans, Daniel Sakai, and Officer John Hege will forever hold a place in my heart. The sacrifice they made, and the sacrifice their families continue to make, will never be forgotten.”
— Ken Hardesty, PoliceOne Columnist
“Mark Dunakin, John Hege, Ervan Romans, and Daniel Sakai — four warriors forever etched in our hearts and memories. These warriors were professional lawmen, working the streets of what can be a dangerous town, even when faced with mounting resistance from groups of anti-police radicals that have tormented the Oakland Police Department. These warriors hit the streets every day willing to keep the citizens of their city safe from criminal enterprise. They did this at the expense of their own lives. That day, my heart was with Oakland PD and the families of these American heroes.
— Sgt. Glenn French, PoliceOne Columnist
“We’ve seen a growing trend for multiple officers to be killed and wounded in a single event. Often, these incidents are either an ‘unprovoked attack’ ambush in which the first two Oakland officers were killed on the traffic stop, or a ‘premeditated’ ambush sprung by the suspect when Oakland PD SWAT responded to his home, resulting in the deaths of two more officers. We may not be able to prevent the initial deaths in an ambush attack, but strong leaders on the street can take charge of the response and stop additional officers from stumbling into the kill zone.
— Dick Fairburn, PoliceOne Columnist
Please post your thoughts in the comments area below, and, as always, please stay safe.
About the author
Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. In addition to his editorial and managerial responsibilities, Doug has authored more than 650 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), and an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association. He is also a member of the Public Safety Writers Association, and is a two-time (2011 and 2012) Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" Finalist in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. Even in his "spare" time, he is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.
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