Police, firefighters walk for fallen cops

April 26, 2009 7:06:19 PM PDT
A group of Vacaville police and firefighters finished a 17-hour walk Sunday night. They were raising money for the families of the four Oakland officers killed last month by a wanted parolee.

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This finish line was at 67th and San Pablo in Oakland. The participants were on a 48-mile trek from Vacaville to Oakland. They were keeping a good pace as they marched San Pablo around 4:00 Sunday.

Several fire and police departments took turns escorting the original 21 walkers as they made their way toward Oakland. About 30 other people joined in along the way.

This all started after four Oakland police officers were shot and killed last month. Officer John Hege, Sgt. Mark Dunakin, Sgt. Dan Sakai and Sgt. Irvin Romans were lost in one of the city's worst officer-involved shootings.

The loss struck every police department around the nation and that is when two Vacaville police officers came up with the idea to raise money for the families.

"Richmond is here now with their lights on and that's the type of stuff that keeps us moving. The pain is pretty good. It hurts. But to see the people come and cheer us on and other departments come out and cheer us on, that just gives us the adrenaline shot to keep us going," said Sgt. Ian Schmutzler.

Walking 48 miles is a grueling task and several walkers had to quit Sunday. Of the original 21, 14 were still plugging away Sunday evening.

On Sunday they raised about $8,000 for the Oakland Police Memorial Fund which benefits the fallen officer's families. They will present the proceeds to the Oakland Police Officers Association at the finish line and hold a vigil for the four fallen officers.

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