Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Sergeant Richard Earl Deffner

Sacramento County Sheriff's Office, California

End of Watch Thursday, January 21, 1988

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Reflections for Sergeant Richard Earl Deffner

Rick was in the 40th Central Coast Counties basic Police Academy at Gavilan college in Gilroy, Ca. from Sept. thru December 1976. He was an officer with the Capitola Police Dept. at the time and I was with San Juan Bautista PD. We talked every day for about 10 weeks until graduation. I remember him saying he will eventually transfer back to the Sacto area where he was from once he receives lateral status. I did not know he was killed in the line of duty way back when and never had contact once we all graduated. I remember him as an easy going person, kind of quiet but good natured. May he rest in peace.

Glenn Hilpert
Retired, Santa Clara County Sheriff's Dept.

May 27, 2021

Sgt. Deffner,
On today, the 32nd anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Sacramento County. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

January 21, 2020

Rich, I always cherished our friendship when we knew each other when you were in college down south and I saw you in my store when you were visiting in Sac. Later, when we had coffee when you were interested in mounted patrol it was my pleasure to share what I could about the work we did with the mounted patrol at the Grand Canyon. When I need advice about the pet calls that were happening you did good work and now I am 100 percent sure it was EAR hurting people. When he broke into my apartment in January 1978 and you showed up to take the report and made sure I knew the horror that would happen if I didn't move and all you did to help make that happen for my roommate and I made such a difference. I might be alive now because of you. I am grateful for your amazing help back then. I am sorry I lost touch with you and I had no idea that you had married and had children. I was assigned out of town when you were killed and I was so sickned when I was at the "Deputy Magazine" office downtown in 1993 to turn in an article when I saw your picture on the wall. It was a terrible blow...I wish I had met your wife...I just know I think of you so many times after the EAR was arrested and you were the angel I needed. You were a dear soul.

Deborah Vercammen

January 6, 2020

There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about you. Uncompromising integrity was your standard and you instilled excellence in all of us. You were a great friend, an honorable professional, and a mentor to many in law enforcement and Special Operations. You are missed and honored every day. See you one day on the other side brother.

Shawn C. Joyce Deputy Sheriff (RET)
Sacramento County Sheriff's Department

August 27, 2019

Thank you so much for everything that you did that day. You are not forgotten. I was that infant who was held captive by that sick person. I can not thank you enough.

Roseville, CA

September 18, 2018

Rest In Peace Brother in Blue. You are honored and remembered on the 30th anniversary of your EOW. Thank you and your family for your sacrifice and service.

Officer Mike Robinson (Ret)
Upland Police Dept. CA

January 21, 2018

I was at the Sacramento County sheriff's department as a trainee in 1983. Rick was my training officer we also became pretty good friends even painted this car for him. He was a rock solid guy who's policing approach for me was absolutely amazing I learned so much from him I still have sorrow in my heart for his passing Terry kirkbride

Cadet Terry Kirkbride
Sacramento County sheriff's department

December 14, 2017

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

August 31, 2017

Meine Reichart,
I never got to share with you how wrong you were about me. . . I became a nurse. . .more specifically a pediatric nurse who works with children who die. I am sorry my friends were more amiable for you than I was and I am sorry the man who killed you we delivered Christmas to his family and I am sure you were trying to help him. . .and he was not listening to you. His children I am sure will remember your kindness as we stood in his doorway with that huge box of food and all those gifts in those silly red sweatshirts and Santa hats. I still do that you know. . .silly red sweatshirts and Santa hats and deliver to families all over Sacramento. . .

I have long since forgiven you. . . I hope your son and you became friends. . .and I hope you were happy when you passed. I will never be Maria your "intellectual breath of fresh air", and I will never be Beth. . . I am sorry I was too "soft" to handle your line of work. . . I am sorry about our daughter. . . I could not handle holding her dead in my hands. . . I had to walk away. . . I hope you understood.

You have my love always.


2nd wife

March 2, 2017

I never met you Sgt Deffner but I know of you. You and my father worked together and were close. So close he named me after you. I was born a year after you passed and it seemed right to my parents to name me after you. My dad regrets that I never got to meet you. You must have been a hell of a man to have made such an impression on him. Those that knew you remember you as a hero and that is how I think of you. Rest in Peace.

Petty Officer 3rd Class Richard Sheehan
United States navy

January 23, 2014

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 24th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never dimishes respect and you will always be honored and revered. I pray for solace for all those who love and miss you for I know both the pain and pride are forever. I hope to someday meet some of your family at a NORCAL COPS function.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

January 21, 2012

Rest in Peace, Sergeant Deffner. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

January 21, 2012

Rest in peace Rich. Rich was a former classmate of mine while attending the 40th Central Coast basic police academy in Gilroy Ca at Gavilan college from Sept.-Dec 1976. Rich was on Capitola PD and I was on San Juan Bautista police.

Legal Process Officer, Glenn Hilpert
Santa Clara County S/O

December 6, 2011

Sgt. Deffner, you will not be forgotten! R.I.P.

Deputy Sheriff
Livingston County (Il) Sheriff's Ofc.

January 21, 2010

Dear friends,

Thank you to all who have left your kind remarks here. Your thoughtfulness is appreciated and I'm grateful to know that our law enforcement family is still strong and that Rick is remembered.

Let's be careful out there.

Sacramento, CA

Bryan Hipley

May 20, 2008

Remebering Sgt. Deffner and the hero he will always be to many people. God bless his family and the Sacramento Sheriffs Dept., who lost another hero, Officer Vu, last month.

Mother of Sheriff - Contra Costa

January 21, 2008

Today on the 20th anniversary of your death, we pause and say a prayer for your loved ones who still mourn.
It never gets easy, somehow you just learn to accept it.
May God comfort them on this diffiuclt day. Rest in peace Sarge you are not forgotten.
Respectfully submitted
Chief John Roelandts (retired)
Deborah Roelandts (911 retired)
Oconomowoc Wisconsin

Chief John Roelandts (retired)
Town of Oconomowoc

January 21, 2008

Dear Officer Deffner:
I just read about you in the Rancho Cordova Grapevine; about how the community is remembering your act of bravery and paying tribute to you for your service on this 20th anniversary. . I am grateful that you are remembered for your heroism. We never forget our heroes and our loved ones who gave the ultimate sacrifice. I thank you from my soul and ask that you give comfort and continued guardianship form above. Too many officers are joining you. Please be assured that there are many, many grateful citizens who have the utmost gratitude for your loyalty and service. Thank you. God speed.

Sister of a fallen law enforcement officer
Resident of Sacramento

January 18, 2008



January 13, 2008

"The Badge"
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

September 20, 2007

Today is 19 yrs since the Lord take u up there and u become guardian angel for us


January 21, 2007

Brother Deffner,

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

You’re Brothers in Blue

Untouchables LE Motorcycle Club

January 9, 2006

Rick was a great guy, friend and cop. He is remembered and missed by many.

Sgt Paul Hauptman
Sacramento County Sheriff's Dept

June 3, 2005

I was a Firefighter with the Citrus Heights Fire District when Sgt. Deffner gave his life to protects us all. I am now Chief of Police in a small city in Iowa. I have never forgotten that tragic day and never will. Sgt. Deffner you are among the great heroes who have fallen to protect all our lives. God bless your family.

Chief Jeffrey A. Bunn
State Center, Iowa

Chief Jeffrey A. Bunn
State Center Police Department

April 23, 2004

At the beginning of every shift I supervise, myself and the other officers on shift dedicate the day to the memory of a fallen officer.

Tonight, January 21, 2004 we dedicated the shift to the memory of Sgt. Richard E. Deffner who died in the line of duty on this date sixteen years ago.

When one law enforcement officer falls, we all stumble for a while, but we will carry on.

Sgt. Deffner's sacrifice will never be forgotten.

Sgt. Paul Bissonnette
Royal Canadian Mounted Police - Surrey, BC

January 21, 2004

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