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Salvation Army band to perform in officers' honor

March 31, 2010 6:19:27 PM PDT
The Salvation Army's International Staff Band marched and performed in Oakland today in memory of the four Oakland police officers who were slain on the job last year.

The London-based brass band, which has about 40 members, will join Salvation Army officers from around the Bay Area to pay tribute to the fallen officers, Salvation Army spokeswoman Laine Hendricks said.

Oakland police Sgts. Daniel Sakai, Mark Dunakin and Ervin Romans and Officer John Hege were killed on March 21, 2009, by wanted parolee Lovelle Mixon.

The Oakland branch of the Salvation Army collected donations for the victims' families afterward and provided spiritual and emotional support to the community, Hendricks said.

"It's something that hit home," she said.

The International Staff Band, made up primarily of Salvation Army members, is making its first appearance in the U.S. since 1998. Its visit to Oakland is part of a handful of stops across the country to promote a new album, Hendricks said.

The band already had a free community concert scheduled for later this evening, and local Salvation Army officials decided recently to add the march and memorial event to the schedule.

"It's something they wanted to do to honor their memory again and their heroism," Hendricks said. "We thought with the band coming, what a great way to do something visible for Oakland."

The band and Salvation Army officers will gather at 2:30 p.m. near Franklin and 12th streets and begin the march about 15 minutes later.

The short march will end at Frank Ogawa Plaza, where the memorial event will be held. The band will play several musical selections, and Salvation Army officers, as well as Oakland Police Department Chaplain Rufas Robins, will speak and read Biblical scriptures, Hendricks said.

The free community concert will take place at 7 p.m. at the Scottish Rite Center at 1520 Lakeside Drive.


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