Tragedy in Oakland

The nightmare that unfolded in Oakland over the weekend hit particularly close to home for the A’s organization:

Two of the officers, Dunakin and Hege, often worked A’s games at the Oakland Coliseum, according to David Rinetti, the team’s vice president of stadium operations.

“It hit me hard,” Rinetti said.

Hege spent years providing security in the Coliseum’s West Side Club. More recently, Dunakin worked ballpark security and also provided escorts for players and umpires. Both men were well-known to employees throughout the Coliseum.

“You see those guys at the ballpark all the time, and you take it for granted,” Rinetti said. “Now their presence isn’t there anymore.”

The A’s sent out a public statement Sunday that read:

“Not only did we have a business relationship with some of these officers, but a personal one as well. They were fixtures working our games, and some also served as team escorts. Our hearts and prayers go out to their families. We appreciate the job that they did, as we do all members of the Oakland Police Department.”

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The Common Man
The Common Man

And now…on to San Jose.

Sorry.  I don’t want to make light of the tragedy in Oakland last week.  But if nothing had happened to them (if only), and the A’s moved away to San Jose, no one would have thought twice about these fine officers who (presumably) did their jobs admirably every day.  When something happens to those who serve and protect us all, I think it’s natural for people to personalize it.  But I don’t think we go nearly far enough to personalize our relationships with them, and celebrate them, while they are still with us.

When I worked security for the Mariners, we worked side-by-side with the Seattle Police and King County Sherrif’s Office, and we got to know the guys really well. They always stayed in the background and let us do our job, but they always had our backs. Especially the Williams brothers. Every time we heard about an officer-involved shooting, we would call the stadium and find out who it was. It was never one of our guys, but it could have been. Most people, to include me, give cops a hard time. But they’re doing a job I don’t want. It… Read more »