Officer John Hege always wanted to be a motorcycle cop, and in the last few months he got his wish.
Hege, 41, joined the Oakland Police Department 10 years ago after a stint as a reserve officer. He graduated from St. Mary's College in Moraga and had taught physical education and oversaw study hall at Tennyson High School in Hayward.
But police work was his true vocation, said his father, John S. Hege of Piedmont.
"I think he was drawn to it," the elder Hege said. "He wanted to be a policeman. And it was a good life's work for him. It fit his personality well. He enjoyed it, and he made a lot of good friends in the Police Department."
He lived with his dog on a small cul-de-sac in Concord. While off-duty, he was a high-school baseball umpire.
His neighbor Rosemary Kelso, 82, recalled Sunday that when Hege moved in about five years ago, he would ride his motorcycle to and from work.
The noise bothered her, so Kelso told her neighbors, "I don't like motorcycles. I'm going to call the police and tell them about this." They laughed and told her, "He is the police."
Once she got to know him, Kelso would chat with Hege as he walked his dog. One day, she left her car lights on, and he knocked on the door to tell her.
"He was that kind of person," she said. "He was very good to everybody."
Hege had done a lot of work on his home in the past year, putting in a "beautiful cement walkway and driveway," Kelso said.
Another neighbor, Erik Scales, said Hege had fixed landscaping in front of his home.
"We're pretty sad to have lost John," Scales said.
Several months ago, Hege got the job in the motorcycle division that he wanted. He was always the first to respond on the radio to assist other officers or help on a project, colleagues said.
Saturday afternoon, he was assisting on what appeared to be a routine traffic stop ..........
John Hege - always the first to respond
Henry K. Lee, San Francisco Chronicle, 03/23/09Officer John Hege always wanted to be a motorcycle cop, and in the last few months he got his wish. Hege , 41, joined the Oakland Police Department 10 years ago after a stint as a reserve officer. He graduated from St. Mary's College in Moraga