Fallen Deputy Remembered as Hard Worker with ‘Larger than Life’ Personality

SACRAMENTO COUNTY -- Close friends and co-workers described 52-year-old Sacramento County's Sheriff's Deputy Bob French as "larger than life."

"Loved Bob. Just a real good guy, tried to outwork every one of my young deputies out here every single day. And he did," said Capt. Kris Palmer with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department.

The 21-year veteran of the department worked under the command of Capt. Palmer. They've known each other for more than 20 years.

"Very difficult time for us. Very difficult time for the community," Palmer said.

Palmer says French was on patrol when he responded to help CHP officers at the Ramada Inn just after the initial shots were fired.

"If anybody needed anything, whether he had a trainee or was training somebody at the time, they could certainly go to him and ask any question because being out here as long as he has, he's seen and done pretty much anything," Palmer said.

It's the reason French was considered a teacher, friend and big brother.

"This is gonna take a lot. You know our department has been hit quite heavily over the last several years. So, it's tough," Palmer said.

Tough for a family whose been through so much. Ten years ago to the day French was killed, his parents, Robert and Patricia, died in a plane crash at the Cameron Park Airport.

"Pray for his family. Pray for the people that wear the black and gold and all law enforcement," Palmer said.

Thursday, in front of the North Station on Garfield Avenue, where French worked, flags were at half staff, in remembrance of a man many say they will terribly miss.

"One thing I told the briefing when we went out this morning, a lot of them are his coworkers, filling in today. Do it like he did it -- 100 percent, courage. And go out and give 'em everything you have today," Palmer said.