Hayward Police Chief Diane Urban said Wednesday that having a large turnout for the memorial service on Thursday for slain Sgt. Scott Lunger will be the best way for the community to honor him and support her department.
"Scott liked the ceremonial part of things and he liked it big and he liked it bold so we wouldn't want to disappoint him tomorrow," Urban said at a news conference at police headquarters.
She said, "All the pomp and circumstance we can muster" will help her department and Lunger's family cope with his loss.
Urban said, "Scott was a guy who really appreciated tradition and honor so we would like to have the Oracle Arena filled with people who support us."
Lunger, 48, a 15-year veteran of the department who lived in Brentwood, was shot near Myrtle and Lion streets in Hayward at about 3:15 a.m. on July 22 after he and another officer stopped a white Chevrolet Silverado truck that police said was swerving and almost struck parked cars.
Police said Lunger, who was pronounced dead at Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley a short time later, was shot without warning as he approached the driver's side of the vehicle.
Mark Estrada, a 21-year-old Oakland man who allegedly was the truck's driver, was arrested after the shooting and is charged with murder and the special circumstances of murdering a peace officer during the course of his duties, committing a murder while lying in wait and committing a murder by discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle.
Urban said she expects up to 10,000 people to attend the service for Lunger at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, which will start at 10 a.m. on Thursday.
A public viewing for Lunger is being held at the Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward until 9 p.m. Wednesday.
The California Highway Patrol said processions before and after the service are expected to cause traffic delays in parts of Alameda County.
The CHP said that at 8 a.m. a procession of Hayward officers and families will travel to Oracle Arena along Interstate Highway 880 so freeway and on-ramp closures are expected along northbound I-880 between Winton Avenue in Hayward and the Oracle Arena in Oakland.
The CHP said at 8:45 a.m. a procession of law enforcement officers will escort Lunger's body from the Chapel of the Chimes in Hayward to the Oracle Arena so roadway, freeway, and on-ramp closures are expected along state Highway 238 and Mission Boulevard, Foothill Boulevard, A Street and northbound I-880.
The agency said that after the ceremony, at about 1 p.m., a procession of law enforcement officers will escort Lunger's body from the Oracle Arena to his final resting place in Brentwood, so freeway, on-ramp, and roadway closures are expected along southbound I-880, southbound I-238, eastbound Interstate Highway 580 and Vasco Road, which connects Livermore and Brentwood.
Alameda County officials said drivers are encouraged to avoid Vasco Road at that time if possible.
Alameda County officials said the public is being encouraged to show support for Lunger and his family by standing at the side of Vasco Road between Northfront and Dalton roads, so that could delay traffic in the area.
Urban said the fatal shooting of Lunger is "absolutely unfathomable" because Hayward "is a community that loves its police officers and it's been nearly 30 years since the last time a Hayward officer was killed in the line of duty.
Urban said, "This is truly the darkest hour in this department's history" but said she's "gratified" that the community and other law enforcement agencies are helping the department get through this difficult time.She said the Alameda County Sheriff's Department and other agencies will be helping patrol Hayward tonight until Friday morning so as many Hayward officers as possible can attend the service for Lunger.
Urban said Lunger's family members "are grieving terribly" for him.
But she said Lunger's daughters, 21-year-old Ashton and 19-year-old Sara, "are remarkable and beautiful inside and out and are getting through this one moment at a time and one breath at a time and by putting one foot in front of the other."
Urban said, "They know how much their dad is loved by the community."
Gov. Jerry Brown's office said Brown is expected to be among the dignitaries who will be attending the service for Lunger.