By PoliceOne Staff
DALLAS — Family members and colleagues of a fallen Dallas county deputy are upset after the LEO didn’t receive certain honors during his funeral.
Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputy Omar Calderon died by suicide after a battle with depression and was laid to rest on July 5, WFAA reported. But the fallen deputy’s funeral was not what his family expected – he was denied certain honors due to the nature of his passing.
“There were a lot of things that I was told should have happened that didn’t happen,” said ShaRonda Calderon, the deputy’s widow and one-time sheriff’s department employee.
The sheriff’s department said Calderon would not receive full honors, which are reserved for LEOs who died in the line of duty. The department’s guidelines do state that LEOs who die while off-duty are to be given an officer standing watch beside the casket, an honor guard, a bugler and a final call broadcasting their badge numbers.
But ShaRonda said her fallen husband didn’t receive any of those honors during his funeral, a decision made by Interim Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown.
In a statement to WFAA, Brown said the department’s general orders do not address suicide and that it’s “the responsibility of the leadership of the department to make decisions that are deemed best for the department.”
Brown added that due to the nature of Calderon’s death, “the sheriff’s department does not want to condone nor appear to glamorize suicide.”
On Wednesday, the Dallas chapter of the National Latino Peace Officers Association sent a letter to Brown voicing their “absolute dismay” in the decision to not give the honors to Calderon.
“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 letter stated.
ShaRonda said she’s disappointed that the funeral focused on how her husband, who served Dallas County for 18 years, died instead of how he lived. She worries that the department’s actions further stigmatize depression.
“The message that it’s sending is that we’re not here for you,” she said.