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Madam Speaker, I rise in support of this resolution, H. Res. 290. This resolution honors the lives of Oakland Police Department's Sergeant Mark Dunakin, Sergeant Ervin Romans, Sergeant Daniel Sakai, and Officer John Hege.
Madam Speaker, just a little over 2 weeks ago on March 21, these peace officers were brutally slain while in the line of duty protecting the people of the State of California. These officers were valuable members of their police department, they were community leaders, and they were family men. They risked their lives every day to protect their fellow Californians, and at the end of the day, they were all killed for doing so.
Sergeant Mark Dunakin was an 18-year veteran of the Oakland Police Department and resided in Tracy, California. According to his captain, the experienced homicide investigator was absolutely committed to every investigation he led. He leaves behind his wife Angela and their three small children.
Sergeant Ervin Romans, ``Erv'' to his friends, was from Danville, California. He gave 13 years of service to the Oakland Police Department. He was a member of the police SWAT team and highly regarded for his work with the narcotics division in solving several complex drug cases in California.
Sergeant Daniel Sakai of Castro Valley, California, was also a member of the police SWAT team. While he's remembered for his outstanding work on the SWAT team, he's also remembered and respected for his love of serving other people, most notably during his time as a community officer at the University of California in Berkeley. And he also taught English in Japan.
He was a devoted husband and father to his wife Jennifer and their young daughter.
Officer John Hege of Concord, California, was a 10-year veteran of the Oakland Police Department and was known by his colleagues for his willingness to help out with any department projects. Before joining the force, Officer Hege was a high school teacher and spent his free time umpiring high school baseball games.
Madam Speaker, almost 40 years ago, four California Highway Patrolmen lost their lives in the line of duty in a single incident. Since that time, our Nation's law enforcement officers have made a considerable effort to reform police safety training programs and procedures. And because of that dedicated work over the past 20 years, we've seen a decrease in the number of police officers killed by gunfire.
Although there has been great progress in protecting the safety of these men and women who wear the uniform, the death of these four officers serve as a reminder to the whole country that our Nation's law enforcement officials still face dangerous and potentially deadly situations every day. When a peace officer puts on a uniform in the morning, they represent everything that is good and right about our country.
Today, we honor the lives and the commitment to protecting our community of these four peace officers.
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