Large memorial planned for slain Hoonah police officers

HONOR: Free ferry service is offered to accommodate the strong show of support.

September 4, 2010 

HOONAH -- The overwhelming outpouring of support for the memorial service of slain Hoonah Police Officers Matthew Tokuoka and Anthony Wallace has resulted in a full slate of events planned to honor the men this week.

The two officers were shot and killed as they chatted on a Hoonah street late Aug. 28. John Marvin Jr. was arrested after a prolonged standoff with authorities. He's been charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

"One of my Hoonah academy recruits was going to attend the service," said Hoonah Police Chief John Millan, who is on administrative leave due to involvement in the case. "Now the whole Sitka academy group is making arrangements to see the memorial service."

The site for the memorial service has changed. It will now be at the Hoonah Junior/Senior High School's new gymnasium, 366 Garteeni Highway, at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, a press release from the Alaska State Troopers states. A procession will start at 2 p.m. starting at the ferry terminal in Hoonah and end at the school. The service is expected to last up to two hours.

Speakers will include Gov. Sean Parnell, friends of the officers and family members. A reception will follow the service.

The Alaska Marine Highway System has substituted the ferry Malaspina for the LeConte, which will allow at least 200 more people to travel to Hoonah for Wednesday's service, said AMHS communications director Roger Wetherell. The Malaspina will begin the trip in Skagway and stop in Haines on the way to Juneau. The Malaspina will leave Auke Bay at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday and arrive in Hoonah at 1:45 p.m. it will make the return trip from Hoonah at 6 p.m., arriving Auke Bay at 9 p.m.

"People who are taking vehicles must check in two hours in advance, and reservations are required," Wetherell said. "We are suggesting that people who drive out to Auke Bay carpool due to limited parking. We are not charging people a fare to take the Malaspina. We are doing it as a humanitarian gesture on the part of the state of Alaska to honor those police officers who died in the line of duty and their families."

Interested passengers can make reservations at ferryalaska.com or call the central reservation phone number, 1-800-642-0066, or stop at any AMHS facility.

Juneau resident Carolyn Noe, the founder of Yees Ku Oo Dance Group and who was raised in Hoonah, has reserved a catamaran for the Hoonah memorial.

"All my life I have seen that the Hoonah community has been there for each other," Noe said. "And I know that there are a lot of people in Southeast Alaska that are concerned with how to get there, so this will help. I have been with Lenny Gorsuch, one of the tour boat captains, on that."

Travelers to Hoonah can call Noe at 364-5250 to secure a round-trip seat for $40.

The memorial for Hoonah police officers Matthew Tokuoka and Anthony Wallace will be broadcast live from Hoonah, GCI announced Saturday. It will be on GCI cable Channel 1 beginning at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

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