Former sheriff shares moment fallen deputy joined force

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Public officials and law enforcement officers from all over the Houston are expected to be on hand Wednesday for memorial services honoring fallen Deputy Sandeep Dhaliwal, but people who knew him best are already sharing stories of his kindness and service.

Former Sheriff Adrian Garcia had been friends with Dhaliwal for years. That all began with Garcia standing in a Sikh temple more than 10 years ago, talking about outreach in the community.

"Sandeep was in the crowd that day," recalled Garcia. "He looked at his daddy and said, 'I've always wanted to be a cop.' It's almost a burden, you know, I recruited him."

Garcia is now a county commissioner, and he's trying to comfort Dhaliwal's family. The deputy's 13- and 8-year-old daughters know their father isn't coming home, and that's something that's difficult for their 5-year-old brother to grasp.

"He keeps saying, 'When is Papa coming home?' His sister has to explain to him it's not going to happen," Garcia said.

Garcia and Dhaliwal journeyed to Puerto Rico in 2017 to help with the Hurricane Maria relief.

It's one of many examples of Dhaliwal going beyond the call of duty. Like many, Garcia said Dhaliwal's kindness and heart of gold made him the perfect officer.

"I couldn't be more grateful to have somebody like that be a part of my life," Garcia said.

There will be two services on Wednesday morning for Dhaliwal at the Berry Center in Cypress. The doors will open at 9:30 a.m. The Sikh religious ceremony begins at 10:30 and the law enforcement service will follow. They are open to the public, though seating is limited.


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