MODESTO -- The sounds of bagpipes lead the casket carrying Deputy Dennis Wallace to Crosspoint Community Church in Modesto.
Nearly the entire Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department, including their K9s and mounted horse teams, came to pay tribute their co worker and friend. It was a final farewell to a man who served 20 years.
"How do we get through this day and honor Dennis and yet continue to do what we do?" Stanislaus County Sheriff Adam Christianson said.
This is a huge loss for Sheriff Adam Christianson and his department. But they are not alone. Representatives from more than 120 agencies from across the nation came to show their respect, including officers from New York, Illinois, Arizona, and Oregon.
They may have different uniforms, but share the same love to protect and serve.
"The loss of one deputy, one officer is tragic, and it cuts us to the core," Lt. Paul Taylor of the Phoenix Department said.
Lt. Taylor shared the same grief. He too has lost colleagues in the line of duty.
"When we have the opportunity, we like to repay that favor. We like to go and show the people that they mean as much to us as the other way around," Lt. Taylor said.
Sgt. Bryan White of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Department in Portland, Oregon agreed.
"We know very well first hand, the dangers that come with this job. So it's important to us, that our brothers and sisters at other agencies in other states know that we are here to support them," Sgt. White said.
They were here to support Deputy Wallace --and to honor a husband, a brother, a DARE officer, and a youth soccer coach, who meant so much to the community of Hughson.
"Coaching mentoring, teaching. He was very focused on teaching young people about the dangers of substance abuse. And that is what he loved doing. That interaction with children, I think, is his legacy," Sheriff Christianson said.