Sunday will mark the one-year anniversary of the worst day in the history of the Oakland Police Department, when four officers were killed during a confrontation with a wanted parolee. The Police Department will mark the anniversary of the March 21, 2009, incident in a low-key manner with a barbecue hosted by the police officers union, Oakland police spokesman Jeff Thomason said today. Killed in the shootings were Sgts. Mark Dunakin, Erin Romans and Daniel Sakai and Officer John Hege. Wanted parolee Lovelle Mixon was shot and killed by police at the end of the incident, which began when Dunakin and Hege stopped him for a traffic violation. According to Oakland police, Mixon shot and killed Dunakin and Hege during the traffic stop and then shot and killed Romans and Sakai when their SWAT team entered a nearby apartment where he was hiding. Thomason said the four officers will be honored in May at separate ceremonies in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., where their names will be inscribed on state and national memorial walls for fallen law enforcement officers. Alameda County sheriff’s officials said Deputy Derek Pope will be receive the National Sheriffs’ Association “Deputy of the Year” award for joining Oakland’s SWAT team in entering the apartment where Mixon was hiding. Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. J.D. Nelson said, “Deputy Pope made a decision to enter that building, putting himself at great risk, to come to the aid of his fellow officers of the Oakland Police Department.” Pope is the first Alameda County sheriff’s deputy to receive the national award. He will accept the honor at the National Sheriff’s Conference in Anaheim on June 28. Pope, Sheriff Gregory Ahern and Oakland Assistant Police Chief Howard Jordan will speak about Pope’s actions in the incident at a news conference at 3 p.m. today at a sheriff’s facility in Dublin.
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