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Video: Family Angry About Texas Deputy's Funeral Honors Following Suicide

July 13, 2018  | 

VIDEO: Family Angry About Texas Deputy's Funeral Honors Following Suicide

Dallas County Sheriff’s Deputy Omar Calderon was laid to rest on July 5.

A 40-year-old father of three, Calderon took his own life after a battle with depression. “He was so sad, I mean it was obvious,” said his widow ShaRonda Calderon. The couple had been married since 2012 and together since 2001.

Her husband’s funeral was a tribute, but not what she, a one-time sheriff’s department employee, expected. “There were a lot of things that I was told should have happened that didn’t happen,” she said.

The Dallas County Sheriff’s department uses what are called general orders as their guideline for protocol.

The orders explicitly state Calderon would not receive full honors – those are reserved for line of duty deaths – but the orders do state that deputies 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 on the radio.

Those things did not happen, even though ShaRonda said she wanted them, WFAA TV reports.

The funeral was Interim Dallas County Sheriff Marian Brown’s decision. When asked about the honors Calderon did not receive, Brown released a statement explaining the general orders do not address suicide. Brown added, “Due to the nature of Deputy Calderon’s death, the sheriff’s department does not want to condone nor appear to glamorize suicide.”

Comments (3)

Displaying 1 - 3 of 3

Zelda @ 7/16/2018 12:49 AM

I’m sorry the widow didn’t get what she wanted for his funeral. I’m looking at the commands reasoning of dismissing the entitlements she understood as being a right and there isn’t a perfect moral or ethical solution that is mandated. Gotta be grateful she has closure and a body to bury the hatchery.

John Escalante @ 7/16/2018 7:24 AM

I'm sure this was not a decision Sheriff Brown took lightly. It is tragic and unfortunate that this officer took his own life. We should not forget his service to the people he served. However, it would also not be appropriate to conduct an honors funeral that should be reserved for officers who have been killed in the line of duty. To conduct honors funerals for those that tragically choose to end their lives may only increase the number of officers who make the fatal decision. We need to mourn and try and understand why an officer would choose suicide but we can not "honor" the suicide. Every department needs to talk about suicide and ensure their are systems in place that will allow and encourage an officer to get the help they need to prevent future suicides. Thoughts and prayers with Officer Calderon's family.

RF @ 8/8/2018 5:07 PM

I think perhaps we should look from a different perspective on this officer's death. He should have received those honors not in spite of his suicide, but because of it. To do so does not glamorize suicide, instead to do so brings attention to the internal fight of many officers who battle the demons of this job that can come to get you when you least expect it. This may not have been a "line of duty" death, but we cannot assume that the job didn't play a part in it. The honors come from his service, not a battle that he lost, but all the battles before.

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