Sergeant Richard Deffner Memorial
Phil Davis wrote:
As you know, Sergeant Rick Deffner was killed in the line of duty on January 21, 1988 at the Tree’s Apartments, 10333 White Rock Road, Rancho Cordova. The events of that day and evening have been thoroughly documented.
However, it is apparently not well known that several community activists, along with the Cordova Recreation and Park District Board of Directors, decided that it would be appropriate and fitting for the community to establish a memorial to Sergeant Deffner. It was agreed that the Park District would establish the RICHARD DEFFNER MEMORIAL GROVE in the White Rock Park , approximately four blocks east of the Tree’s Apartments (near White Rock Road and Mills Acres Circle).
This Memorial was dedicated in the late spring or early summer of 1988 (I cannot recall the exact date). Since I was the SED Lieutenant during that period, I attended along with all SED Officers. Unfortunately, the dedication ceremony had not been well promoted and was not as formally structured as it might have been. Nevertheless, the intentions of the community to honor Sergeant Deffner were sincere and heartfelt and the efforts of the community were very much appreciated by Beth Deffner and those who attended. I believe that this Memorial stands unique in that it was totally conceived, designed, funded, dedicated and is currently maintained by Rancho Cordova citizens and their Parks Department.
The Richard Deffner Memorial Grove stands at the east side of White Rock Park. It consists of eleven mature redwood trees approximately 35 feet tall at this time. The trees form a half circle around an octagonal concrete pad with two park benches. The redwoods shade a rock boulder. A plaque is affixed to the boulder which reads as follows:
DEFFNER MEMORIAL GROVE
DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF
SERGEANT RICHARD EARL DEFFNER
OF THE SACRAMENTO COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT’S
SPECIAL ENFORCEMENT DETAIL
SERGEANT DEFFNER WAS SHOT AND KILLED IN THE
LINE OF DUTY BY AN OUT OF STATE FUGITIVE ON
JANUARY 21, 1988, AT 10333 WHITE ROCK ROAD. THE
ASSAILANT WAS THEN KILLED IN A VOLLEY OF RETURN
GUNFIRE BY SERGEANT DEFFNER’S FELLOW OFFICERS.
"IN SERVICE TO THE CITIZENS OF RANCHO CORDOVA"