Extended police family mourn inexplicable loss
Sergeant Darryl Tsujimoto, popular canine unit leader of the San
Francisco Police Department is honored by fellow officers. Tsujimoto
died unexpectly May 1
By Pat Murphy
May 8, 2006
Called in life to be centurions, San Francisco Police men and
women Sunday turned to spit-and-polish family caress for loss
of their young one taken early in death.
A coronary, unforeseen and at first unbelieved, had taken 41-year-old
Sergeant Darryl Tsujimoto last Monday and the extended police
family filled Civic Center Auditorium seeking comfort for inexplicable
More than most, the police family turns to ceremony to mourn.
But the touch was there, the tear-stained laughter and the embrace.
Sonia Rosenberger, fiancé of Sergeant Darryl Tsujimoto,
is comforted during Sunday memorial.
San Francisco Police Officers Association President Gary Delagnes
seen in foreground.
Tsujimoto, a 15-year veteran of the San Francisco Police Department
and proud officer-in-charge of the Tactical Company Canine Unit
since April 1999, collapsed May 1 after a half-mile training run
on Treasure Island.
He played the role of a suspect who had assaulted a police officer,
with fellow officers and canine patrols in pursuit.
Tsujimoto collapsed as a canine team caught up to him. At first,
officers thought Tsujimoto had added a dramatic flourish to the
capture, but the collapse was real.
The City's best equipped to provide pulmonary resuscitation continued
the effort as Tsujimoto was transported to San Francisco General
Hospital. He was pronounced dead on arrival.
Tsujimoto poured all of his efforts into improving the canine
unit, Police Chief Heather Fong recalled.
Under his leadership the canine unit gained national recognition
and won many gold medals in canine unit competitions, reported
San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong. Those who knew him well
are seen, from left, canine unit Officer Davin Cole, Tactical
Lieutenant Joe Garrity, and Caption Greg Corrales. Tsujimoto earned
a Bronze Medal of Valor, a Unit Citation, two Police Commission
and a Master 10851 Award.
"He took over a great unit, a unit that is one of the most
highly regarded within the San Francisco Police Department,"
"Darryl's efforts these past seven years held to make it
one of the finest canine units in the country.
"Darryl's passion for the canine unit is very well known.
He had the understanding of what it would take to bring that unit
to a higher level of achievement and he had the drive to see it
"Darryl significantly increased the amount of training within
the canine unit and the amount of interaction that the officers
and the canines had with other canine units throughout the State.
Sergeant Neville Gittens with statewide canine team formations
entering Civic Center Auditorium memorial.
"Darryl was as devoted to his work as anyone I have ever
"A few months back I had the opportunity to visit with the
tactical canine unit at its home in the Hunters Point Shipyard
in Building 606.
Video captures Tsujimoto in training.
"Darryl's love for the canine unit extended way beyond the
SFPD. He volunteered so many hours to rescue many, many dogs from
rescue operations, from the SPCA, and working with Sonia's support
trained so many of these dogs and donated them to other law enforcement
agencies that did not have a canine unit or did not have the funding
to start one.
"In fact, today we have with us Barak and Loki who are two
of our department's police canines who were raised as puppies
to be the wonderful police dogs that they have provided to the
San Francisco Police Department.
"And Sonia, those dogs will be retired in Darryl's honor
and returned to you and your family.
Tsujimoto at home with Barak and Loki.
"To Darryl's parents, to Sam and Tina, and to other members
of the Tsujimoto family, to Sonia his fiancé, on behalf
of the men and women of the San Francisco Police Department I
thank you for sharing Daryll with us and for inspiring us with
Sam Tsujimoto, father of Sergeant Darryl Tsujimoto, receives the
flag of honor on behalf of the Tsujimoto family from San Francisco
Police Chief Heather Fong. Sam Tsujimoto was accompanied in mourning
by his wife Tina Tsujimoto and Sergeant Darryl Tsujimoto's fiancé
Sonia Rosenberger, fiancé of Sergeant Darryl Tsujimoto.