Tahoe officers attend funeral for slain Oakland policemen
March 27, 2009
Eight South Lake Tahoe police officers, the police chaplain, 12 honor guards from El Dorado County and five from Douglas County attended the funerals today for four Oakland policeman killed March 21 in the line of duty.
More than 20,000 people packed the Oracle Arena in Oakland for the service. It was estimated 25 percent of those were law enforcement officers from throughout the United States.
Three Oakland officers were killed in a shootout Saturday and a fourth who was wounded died Monday after he was removed from life support.
Their killer, a 26-year-old Oakland parolee at-large, was shot dead by police after he fired on officers who stormed an apartment building where he was hiding.
Attending the services Friday from the South Lake Tahoe police department were Sgt. Jeff Reagan, along with officers Robert Autre, Jake Herminghaus, Rebecca Inman, David Allen, Andy Eissinger, Matt Morrison, Ryan Wagoner and Chaplain Jerry Foster.
There were 12 honor guard officers from El Dorado County who attended the funeral, including Deputy Damian Frisby of South Lake Tahoe, said Sgt. James Byers.
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“We make every effort for every funeral for every officer,” Byers said. “This was one of the worst law enforcement tragedies in California and the worst in Northern California. We sent our honor guard to show our support, not only for the four slain police officers but for their families.”
Meanwhile, five members of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office honor guard attended the funerals Friday.
Undersheriff Paul Howell said Sgt. Will Lynch and deputies Kevin Schaller, Nate Almeida, George Schramm and Dean Kumagai participated in the ceremonies.
“It’s kind of a tradition,” Howell said. “We provide an honor guard out of respect for our fellow officers. These are our brother officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Howell said the sheriff’s office provided two marked vehicles and the fuel for the trip, but the officers went on their own time and paid all their expenses.
He said the sheriff’s office was deeply affected by the Oakland killings.
“It was very terrible,” he said. “That’s not that big of a department. As an administrator, you ask yourself how do you recover from that?”