Detective Clarence G. "Bud" Backherms

Detective Clarence G. "Bud" Backherms

Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Sunday, April 7, 2019

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Clarence G. "Bud" Backherms

Detective Bud Backherms died from complications sustained from a gunshot wound he received 29 years earlier while attempting to thwart a burglary in progress at 11:40 pm at 325 US Highway 27 in Southbay.

While making a phone call at a payphone, Detective Backherms was confronted by three subjects. One of the men threw a bottle and struck him in the head. Another subject was armed with a pistol. He realized that an armed robbery was in progress. Detective Backherms attempted to get to his vehicle to retrieve his weapon and stop the subjects when the man with the gun fired three rounds at him. He was struck once in the abdomen. Despite being seriously wounded, he was able to radio for help and provide an accurate description of the subjects and describe the bottle thrown at him.

The fingerprints from the bottle led to the identity of one of the suspects, which ultimately led to the identity of three other suspects. A 16-year-old subject took a plea deal in agreement to testify against the others. He received seven years. A second subject, age 20, pleaded guilty to attempted armed robbery and received six years and nine months. The third subject, age 18, pleaded guilty to attempted armed robbery with a firearm and was sentenced to seven years plus an additional five years for violating parole. The fourth subject, age 18, who fired the gun, was sentenced to 15 years with a mandatory six years.

Detective Backherms was able to serve nine more years with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office but had to medically retire due to complications and multiple surgeries from the bullet wound.

Detective Backherms was a United States Marine Corps veteran who had served with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office for 18 years and in law enforcement for 26 years. He is survived by his wife, five children, and 13 grandchildren.


  • Age 68
  • Tour 26 years
  • Badge 2020
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Wednesday, February 28, 1990
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender 15 years

juvenile offender, parolee, robbery in progress

Most Recent Reflection

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Thank you for your service. Detective Backherms will never be forgotten.

Retired First Sergeant Thomas Webb
New York State Police - Troop "D"

July 30, 2022

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