A's to honor slain OPD officers

A's to honor slain OPD officers

ANAHEIM -- The A's on Tuesday announced that they'll host a special tribute prior to their home opener on Friday in memory of the four Oakland Police Department officers who were killed in the line of duty March 21.

In addition, the A's white home uniforms will feature an "OPD" patch on the sleeve for the entire 2009 season.

"I think it's a great idea," Oakland manager Bob Geren said. "Anything that recognizes those men as the true heroes they were is certainly appropriate."

Sgts. Mark Dunakin, Ervin Romans and Daniel Sakai and Officer John Hege will be honored during a ceremony before the A's take on the visiting Mariners at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.

The tribute to the fallen officers will begin at 6:30 p.m. -- gates open at 5:05 p.m. -- and will include more than 50 Oakland Police officers.

The Color guard, the unfurling of the large American flag and the national anthem will be performed by local officers and a flyover will feature two fighter jets from NAS Lemoore. A plaque will be presented by A's players to the Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan.

Members of the Oakland Police Department will be at designated locations throughout the Coliseum during the home opener to collect monetary donations from fans for the officer's family trust funds. Funds also will be raised through player donations, the A's Silent Auction behind section 120, and a special law enforcement ticket offer for the three-game Seattle series.

A's managing partner Lew Wolff and principal partner John Fisher will match the funds raised during the home opener, and an equal donation will be made to each of the officer's families or charity of choice.

"On behalf of the entire Oakland A's organization, our deepest condolences go out to the members of the Oakland Police Department and the family members of the officers involved in this terrible tragedy," Wolff said. "These officers served as security during many of our games throughout the years. Our hearts and prayers go out to all law enforcement officials who dedicate their lives to the public safety of our neighborhoods and citizens.

"We appreciate the job they do every day protecting our community."

Those not attending the game but would like to make a contribution can mail a check to the Oakland Police Officer's Association, Attn: Renee Hassna, 555 5th Street, Oakland, CA 94607. Checks should be payable to the Dunakin Children's Family Trust; the Romans Children's Family Trust; or the Sakai Family Trust. Or a donation can be made under John Hege's name to the following charities: Oakland Police Emergency Net (555 5th Street, Oakland, CA 94607, Attn: Renee Hassna), Piedmont Council Inc. Boy Scouts of America (10 Highland Way, Piedmont, CA 94611) or Oreme School of Arizona (HC63 Box 3040, Mayer, AZ 86333).

For more information, visit www.opoa.org.

Mychael Urban is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.