Officers from all around attend funeral

March 27, 2009 6:54:59 PM PDT
Law enforcement personnel came from around the state and the world to pay their respects to the officers.

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A group of officers from Boston took up a collection within their department to pay for the trip, which allowed officers who stayed behind to be a part of Friday's tribute.

In a long-standing tradition, they all wore black bands over their badges as a sign of mourning

In the lives of police officers, some days are tougher than others, and some duties more solemn.

"For our law enforcement community this is huge and it is a big event," said said Sgt. David Taft from New Heaven Connecticut.

As big as any had ever seen after a loss equally as tragic.

"It's for family, sir. Something you can't speak to. Either you have it, or you don't," said one grieving officer.

It was a sense of professional family that drew them to Oakland. Officers from close and from far away ? even from foreign countries.

"This is a tragedy. This is not a common event," said Officer Brian Urquhart from Ontario, Canada.

From small towns you may have never heard of, and the big places too, like 23 from New York City.

"Definitely when something like this happens, it affects the world," said one New York City officer.

So they came anyway they could, even paying their own way. Many drove, including some officers from Minneapolis.

"We drove three days. Left last Tuesday morning," said Sgt. Steven Blackwell from the Minneapolis Police Department.

It mattered little, that until last week most of these officers had never before met or heard of Dunakin, Romans, Sakai, or Hege.

What mattered was that as they filed in with spit, polish and sadness, these men and women who wore so many different uniforms on the outside, showed they're cut from the same cloth, within.

"I haven't met an officer who wasn't called to this profession. Public service is an honorable profession. And we all know that when we put on the badge, you life is on the line every day you go to work," said Rick Janick from Marina Police Department.

One of the officers who attended the funeral was proud to be part of such an event. He also said it made him feel much better.


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