Roseville policeman Mark A. White was remembered as a dedicated officer with a mischievous grin and compassionate manner during funeral services attended by about 2,000 mourners, including 1,500 uniformed law enforcement officers from throughout California.
White died February 10, 1995, when Shawn Brackin, a 25-year-old Roseville resident intending to commit suicide, walked into the Roseville Police Department and pulled a gun on the counter clerk.
White, out of uniform and ready to leave for the day, was caught in the confused melee that resulted.
He was shot by a fellow officer who didn’t recognize him until after he fell with a gunshot wound to the chest.
In a ceremony at St. Isadore’s Church in Yuba City, White, 30, was eulogized by Roseville Police Chief Thomas Simms as an officer who loved his job so much he was called “Mr. Roseville” by his own wife.
“He just went out and did his job,” remarked Simms, who also read condolences sent by President Clinton to White’s pregnant widow, Elizabeth, and 4-year-old son Matthew.
In an impressive tribute to a fallen comrade, hundreds of uniformed officers lined up in the parking lot and the street in front of St. Isidore’s and stood at attention for more than an hour before the services began.
During the eulogy, Yuba City Police Chief Roy Harmon drew warm chuckles from the assembly when he recalled White’s happy nature and impish grin. “He always, always had that grin on his face, like he just got by with something, and he probably did,” said Harmon, remembering White’s days as a police cadet in his department.
“When White was a cadet, he had a habit of disappearing immediately after the morning briefing,” Harmon related. “A sergeant followed him one day and discovered he was running home to eat a bowl of Cheerios.”
“Liz used to complain that she didn’t have a husband and a son,” Harmon remarked. “She said she had two children.”
White also had a compassionate side while on the job, the two chiefs stated. Harmon remembered when White arrested a woman, handcuffed her and booked her. Immediately after, he tried to help her get bailed out of jail.
“Another time,” Simms recounted, “White ousted a poor, non-English speaking woman from a condemned house. He then tried to find another place for her to live.”
The funeral concluded with all 1,500 officers, some of whom had come from as far away as Pasadena, filing past the open casket and saluting the fallen officer.
Before joining the Roseville Police Department nearly three years earlier, White worked for five years as a deputy for the Sutter County Sheriff’s Department.
The funeral procession to Marysville, where White was buried, stretched for miles through the streets of Yuba City. About 400 patrol vehicles and motorcycles were part of the procession to Sierra View Memorial Park.
At the cemetery, a 21-gun salute was fired, followed by a flyover by law enforcement agency helicopters.
The Roseville Police Association established a trust fund for White’s family Contributions can be mailed to the Roseville Police Department, 401 Oak St., Roseville, CA 95678.