In the midst of a downpour on the afternoon of Sunday, January 6th, the City of Piedmont, together with PRFO, hosted an emotional dedication to name the backstop at Hampton Park in honor of former Piedmont resident and fallen Oakland Police Department officer John Raymond Hege. More than 100 people including a large contingent of OPD Motorcycle officers braved the weather to honor Hege.
Comments and remarks were shared by Piedmont Vice Mayor Teddy Gray King, Assistant Chief of the Oakland Police Department Darren Allison, Oakland Police Officer Johnna Watson, PRFO President Steve Collins, Officer Hege’s mother, Tam Hege, and Piedmont Recreation Department Director Sara Lillevand. Piedmont Boy Scout Troop 15 led the color guard presentation and the Pledge of Allegiance. Officer Hege, an Eagle Scout, was an alumnus of Troop 15, and many of his fellow scouts were in attendance.
A Piedmont native and proud Oakland motorcycle officer, John Raymond Hege was killed in the line of duty in March, 2009, at the age of 41. He and another officer, Sergeant Mark Dunakin, were fatally shot during a traffic stop at 74th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard in Oakland.
Prior to his 10-year law enforcement career, Mr. Hege served as a teacher, an umpire, and a coach. In addition to coaching football at Piedmont High School, he umpired hundreds of baseball games at Hampton Field. After graduating from St. Mary’s College in Moraga, California, Mr. Hege worked as a teacher in Hayward. In 1993, he joined the Oakland Police Department as a volunteer reserve police officer. The OPD hired Officer Hege as a full-time police officer in 1999, assigning him to the Bureau of Field Operations once he graduated from the Oakland Police Academy. After patrolling Oakland neighborhoods for 10 years, he fulfilled a lifelong dream with a transfer to the Traffic Operations Section and an assignment as motorcycle officer. Mr. Hege will be remembered as a caring friend, a devoted son, and a role model for his fellow officers.
Contributions to the John Raymond Hege Memorial Backstop can be made at www.prfo.org/donate/.