This project began with Richard B. Richardson - Hero #1

On October 23rd, 1867 Oakland Police Officer Richard B. Richardson went to the property bound by 9th St, 10th St, Brush and Castro streets to execute a warrant. John Thomas, a squatter living there as directed by the property's previous owner, had brandished a firearm at two of the current owners. The police department was then located in Oakland's first City Hall, a small building on Broadway between 3rd St & 4th St. Richardson proceeded from there to the location on horseback determined to arrest Thomas. After contacting Thomas at his residence, Thomas shot and killed officer Richardson. A retrospective published in 1890 on Richardson and further details of the incident can be viewed here. In early 2016, Jim Knudsen asked if I would assist in a presentation about the Richard Richardson case at a luncheon for the Bay Counties Peace Officers' Association. While doing research for the presentation, Knudsen discovered Richard Richardson was at Mountain View cemetery in Oakland in an unmarked grave (map pictured below). Talk began about looking to place a marker on his grave. This extended to a discussion about the possibility that other peace officers in Alameda County might be in unmarked graves. We formalized the project and went about beginning the research, which resulted in discovering ten unmarked graves. An extension of this project is to orchestrate formal visits during National Police Week to honor these earliest heroes. 

 Mountain View cemetery map. Gravesite of Richard B. Richardson

Mountain View cemetery map. Gravesite of Richard B. Richardson