Hundreds joined in an inaugural memorial run and barbecue Saturday by the California Peace Officers Association to honor the more than 150 officers who are killed in the line of duty each year and their survivors.
The family-oriented event was held during National Police Memorial Week to honor peace officers who have fallen in the line of duty.
Proceeds from the event will benefit the Northern California Chapter of COPS (Concerns of Police Survivors), an organization whose sole mission is to assist with rebuilding the lives of surviving family members and affected co-workers of law enforcement officers killed.
The local event was held as a similar observance was held in Oakland to honor four Oakland police officers who were gunned down last month in the deadliest police shooting in California history. Among those slain was Sgt. Mark Dunakin, 40, who grew up in Pleasanton and graduated from Foothill High School in 1987.
"(The Oakland incident) truly underscores the need for the resources COPS provides these families," said Lt. Mike Elerick, a Pleasanton police officer and chair of CPOA Region II.
COPS' Northern California chairwoman is Tammy Monego, who knows first-hand what it's like to be a survivor. She is the wife of John Monego, who was an Alameda County Sheriff's deputy killed at the Dublin Outback Steakhouse in 1998. Dunakin's widow, Angela Schwab, was held hostage at the Outback robbery.
Elerick said Outback has been a large supporter of law enforcement since the incidient and catered Saturday's barbecue that followed the run. Several local restaurants such as Redcoats, Cold Stone Creamery, spas and the Callippe Preserve Golf Course have donated items for the raffle. Members of the Pleasanton Police Department ran in the event, including Officer Joe Leonardo and his three children, who ran in honor of the two Oakland SWAT officers killed last month.
Trophies were awarded to the top overall male and female runners, with medals to the top three runners in each age division. Run entrants will receive one meal ticket and additional meals may be purchased for $10 for adults and $7 for children ages 12 and under.