Sheriff Denies Honors For Deputy's Funeral Because He Committed Suicide

An eighteen-year veteran of the Dallas County Sheriff's Department received no honors during his funeral.

Dallas, TX – Interim Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown said she denied a fallen deputy funeral honors because she did not want it to appear that the department was condoning or glamorizing suicide.

Off-duty Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputy Homero Calderon, 40, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound at his residence on June 29, the department said in a Facebook post.

"There are no words that can accurately describe the sadness we are experiencing due to his loss,” Sheriff Brown said at the time.

“We, in public safety, have difficult jobs that come with unique challenges and dangers, coupled with regular life stressors that make it easy for us to become overwhelmed,” she continued. “As law enforcement professionals, we often mask emotion to do our jobs on a day-to-day basis helping people and we forget or ignore that we often need help ourselves.”

His widow, ShaRonda Calderon, had also worked for the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office in the past, and said she expected that her husband would receive certain honors after he served nearly two decades as a law enforcement officer, WFAA reported.

“There were a lot of things that I was told should have happened that didn’t happen,” ShaRonda said of Deputy Calderon’s July 5 funeral service.

The department’s protocol dictates the guidelines for officers’ funerals. Full honors are given only to officers who die in the line of duty. But officers who pass away while off-duty are also entitled to certain honors as outlined in the department’s general orders, WFAA reported.

Those honors include an honor guard, a bugler, an officer standing watch over the fallen hero’s casket, and a final radio call broadcasting the officer’s badge number, according to the news outlet.

None of those things occurred after Deputy Calderon’s death – a decision that was made by Sheriff Brown.

“It is the responsibility of the leadership of the department to make decisions that are deemed best for the department,” Sheriff Brown said in a statement to WFAA. “Due to the nature of Deputy Calderon’s death, the sheriff’s department does not want to condone nor appear to glamorize suicide."

“The message that it’s sending is that we’re not here for you,” ShaRonda told WFAA.

The department did not even provide the folded American flag that was placed on Deputy Calderon’s casket – that was provided by an anonymous donor, WFAA reported.

ShaRonda said she was unaware that Sheriff Brown planned to attend or speak during her husband’s funeral until it occurred, and that much of her message revolved around Deputy Calderon’s manner of death as opposed to the kind of man he was when he was alive.

“If you needed him, he’d be there,” ShaRonda said of her husband, a father of three. “That’s what I fell in love with. If I needed something, he would be there. That’s what makes a perfect police officer.”

Prior to Deputy Calderon’s funeral, the Dallas chapter of the National Latino Peace Officers Association (NLPOA) sent Sheriff Brown a letter imploring her to “consider modified honors by providing 2-4 honor guard members to accompany the family to the memorial, during the memorial and an escort to his final resting place or something similar to this modified honors plan,” according to a July 1 letter.

“I do not believe it is too much to ask to provide modified honors for a gentleman who sacrificed eighteen years of his life to his department and his community,” the correspondence read. “This act of compassion by you and your commanders would be an immense token of solidarity and support for all those left behind and show your employees how much you care about their health and welfare.”

On Wednesday, the NLPOA issued another letter to Sheriff Brown, this time expressing “absolute dismay” over her decision to withhold honors from Deputy Calderon and his family due to mental illness, WFAA reported.

“It is not the department’s right to question why or how an employee’s death occurred to determine if honors were to be provided,” the NLPOA told the sheriff in the letter.

Comments (36)
No. 1-36
jmj1096
jmj1096

Thin Blue Line Memorial Crafts would like to honor Deputy Calderon's service by providing one of our shawls for his wife. I would normally send this item to the Sheriff to deliver, but in this case that may not be appropriate. If someone that is close to the family sees this, please message me or Thin Blue Line Memorial Crafts on FB or at jmj1096@gmail.com, so I can get an address for someone who can deliver it.

JBo
JBo

@jmj1096...classy! Thank you.

NTPD935Ret
NTPD935Ret

The sheriff should be ashamed of her actions and decisions!!!! Had she been a better leader maybe counseling could have been available. Don’t the sheriff understand that after all of this deputie’s service that the pressures, sights and situations of the job were a contributing factor? Instead she shames the deputy, his family and the whole department by humiliating the dead deputy for taking his own life when he could find on other way to stop the hurt and pain he was feeling. Based on her actions and words I am sure she would never back any of her deputies that needed mental health care. It’s too bad that she doesn’t know that honoring, understanding and sympathizing with the agony this deputy feel is not, “want(omg) it to appear that the department was condoning or glamorizing suicide.” I wonder how many years of patrol she has under her belt?!

NTPD935Ret
NTPD935Ret

Katarina... It’s a shame because her actions hurt and demoralize her department and the community they serve. The community sees that the departments leadership does not support or care about one of its own hurting so badly and the agency that they the public call for help is displaying so little about one of their deputies. Community members that have lost friends or relatives know first hand how devastating a suicide can be and must marvel at this shameful lack of respect.

Blue_Wives_Matter
Blue_Wives_Matter

I am heartbroken to read this. To me, this is a line of duty death. It is so frowned upon to reach out for help when you work in law enforcement, yet they are the ones who need it most! So we keep reading stories like Deputy Calderon’s, of officers dedicating their lives to helping others only for it to be too much for them to handle. So sad. May you find your peace Deputy Calderon. Like @jmj1096 I would also like to offer to send Ms. Calderon a little something as well. I have a (soon to be) nonprofit that sells thin blue line hats with a heart and I donate all proceeds to LE charities. I have a new version for deputy wives I would like to send you one if someone would contact me. Thank you

Sandi2
Sandi2

This is so wrong for so many reasons. First with an attitude like this the sheriff is showing she doesn’t care about her officers at all. Could the reason this officer took his own life is because he couldn’t get any support from the sheriff? We all know that being a sheriff is a stressful job and they need the support of all their brothers and sisters in service.

They especially need the suppport and backup of their superiors. Makes me wonder if this officer was having problems and the sheriff was not there with any help or backup. Sheriff....do you have blood on your hands? Think about it, if you are honest you will agree. Time to find another job

Mrs10
Mrs10

At first I thought her reasoning made some sense and that she was simply upholding a policy line, hard though it was. But when she denied the request of the smaller guard as a comfort and honor to the widow and family I think she showed her hand. And that she spoke at the funeral without the wife's permission or even knowledge speaks volumes to me.

Szrudy3
Szrudy3

This sheriff “Cold Heart” shows a lack of leadership.

TCSO7801
TCSO7801

Agree with Mrs10

RunCop
RunCop

Why did they let this POS speak at the funeral?

Willfrost31
Willfrost31

Absolutely bullshit

Hawk3699
Hawk3699

Poser politician Brown certainly showed her troops where she stands Good luck to Dallas Co with her at the helm. And she had to attend the funeral and make statements about how the officer died, not how he lived his life. What a memory to leave the family with. Good luck to those that work under her, no matter how briefly.

Just-My-Thoughts
Just-My-Thoughts

She's a disgrace to her city and all LEO's serving every day, putting their lives on the line for those who cannot protect themselves.

kycopmom
kycopmom

She' s showing her ignorance. In a cop's case, suicide very possibly is work-related due to the stress of the job. It gets to some people. This man should have received full honors.

Buzz17
Buzz17

This woman is an embarrassment to the law enforcement profession & her department. She can kiss away any respect the officers of her department had for her, because she's just another BLM crony in many people's eyes now. She should have the decency to resign & issue a public apology to Deputy Calderon's family & fellow officers ASAP. She needs to learn about suicide triggers, & how to prevent it instead of condemning those whose level of despair causes this tragedy to happen.

b4barnabas
b4barnabas

What a P.O.S. - she is the disgrace to the profession --mental health is no different than ANY other bodily injury or illness- I have been an LEO for 27 years and NEVER have I heard of such nonsense ! PTSD is real and it is part of he trauma we see and deal with on a daily basis ........ RIP young man --- love to your friends , family and co workers minus the POS who made this stupid decision.

TrueAmerican
TrueAmerican

Just disgusting, how can this woman look at her actions and be okay with them?!!! No one is going to to respect her and I PRAY her BOSSES FIRE HER ASS!

lego2006
lego2006

I'm stunned and saddened for this family. This is another disgraceful example of "shaming" due to the manner of his death. The chief showed her own ignorance about suicide and it's effects on those left behind. My late husband had been retired for five years, after serving 30 years as a Police Officer, when he took his own life. He was the last person I or anyone else would have suspected of being vulnerable to suicide. He was a man of integrity, compassion and decency, who was loved by all who knew him. There are no words to describe how devastating his loss is to me. Despite his 5 year retirement or his manner of death, his Department, including the Police Chief, gave him the most incredible funeral, with every Honor. Additionally, because my husband was an Army veteran, he also received full military honors. The support I received and continue to receive from his fellow officers gives me the strength to keep going. The stigma attached to suicide needs to end, and this ignorant loser chief needs to be replaced. My deepest condolences to the family of this officer. I share their pain. May God grant them Peace.

YYZ2112
YYZ2112

What an ignorant ass!

hleinen
hleinen

What a tragedy for the family as well as the department. This is certainly not the first time an officer took their own life. He deserved better, shame on the chief who failed him.

CRETE GARY
CRETE GARY

THAT IS COLD.

jmj1096
jmj1096

If you'd like to know more about Thin Blue Line Memorial Crafts, visit us on Facebook and Instagram by that name. We are always looking for help making items to send.

61mouse
61mouse

If I was family l would have kicked her out

mshduke
mshduke

I'm sorry, but rendering honors to a fallen officer is in no way glorifying the circumstances of his death. It is meant to glorify his life and service to his community. This officer's 19 years of devotion and service should not be defined by one overwhelming moment in his life.

Ligoon01
Ligoon01

What a cold heartless individual! Someone should have gone up and pulled her disgusting self right out of the building. I am so sorry this excuse for a person was allowed to even attend the service. My sincere condolences to his family.

hampshire
hampshire

The stress of law enforcement goes beyond what the public understands --- Holding the hand of the family--- may he find Peace

flagwaver
flagwaver

No honors because they didn't want to glamorize his death? THat is an absolutely pathetic excuse. And that sheriff is an absolutely pathetic excuse for a sheriff. Shame on her. Rest in peace Deputy Calderone. God give his widow peace and comfort

Branoli
Branoli

What a sad pathetic excuse for a sheriff. She has no respect for those who serve under her. She needs a new job.

Icare2
Icare2

The Sheriff was wrong. I have attended a service for a fallen law enforcement officer and was shocked by how few from his dept attended because he too ended his life. It was the saddest thing I have ever seen. They deserve honors and respect. Their job plays a part in a big way to that overwhelming devastation they feel. It’s a slap especially for those left behind as well as the officer. You have my respect Sir. R I P. Peace for your family and friends.

not
not

Fire that despicable woman! And she had the audacity to disrespect the widow and family at his service too?! I would have gone to jail at the service beating that officers ass if she were at any service of my family disrespecting the dead! What a low life! FIRE HER!

Yell2017
Yell2017

He should have been honored for service.

Sugaree
Sugaree

I am positive, he died from the line of duty. Look at what Officers have to go thru day after day, especially now. When a skin color gives a person all the rights which can be very much wrong, and to do wrong. It is insane to say the least. Rest in Heavenly Peace Sir.

Crystaltiger
Crystaltiger

18 years !! I can't begin to even imagine how many lives he saved or how many people he helped in many other ways. Yet thugs and criminals get Obama and Sharpton and Jackson to speak at their funerals. AND these men were CRIMINALS. Yet, someone who was willing to put his life on the line for strangers for 18 years is dishonored. That is pathetic. People need to start standing up for what is right. I hope Ms. Brown receives many letters, phone calls, tweets and facebook messages letting her know how disrespectful she was. And his poor children who saw their daddy putting on his uniform and walking out of that door every day for work to save people, saw how this man was disrespected If the situations were reversed and Brown did not get any honors, you KNOW she would get honors to stop people from screaming racism. That's the truth and we all know it, whether or not people choose to admit it. And she was only the interim county sheriff, it shouldn't have been up to her to begin with.

retiredcopga
retiredcopga

This sheriff is a disgrace to her badge, to her department and to her community she serves and should be replaced as her comments during the service show just how cold this cow is. FIRE HER.