Many had not known him when he was alive – but he was one of their own and they came to say goodbye. Nearly 800 law enforcement officers, from as far away as Riverside and Newport Beach, paid their last respects to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputy Charles Robert Anderson, who was shot dead in his home by a burglar.
“He was a good man,” said Deputy Gene Eggers, who was a classmate with Anderson at the Sheriff’s Academy.
St. Finbar Catholic Church in Burbank, which the 35-year-old Anderson had attended with his family, could not hold the more than 1,400 friends, relatives and law officials who attended the funeral services for the slain deputy.
Archbishop Roger Mahony spoke at the services, and Sheriff Sherman Block was among the mourners.
Anderson, a sheriff’s deputy for the last 11 years, had just returned from a family outing late Saturday night, January 24, when he came upon an intruder in his Burbank home, according to Deputy Willie Miller.
Dow said investigators are uncertain whether Anderson struggled with the intruder, but to some of the officers at the funeral, it did not matter.
“We consider this dying in the line of duty because he confronted him,” said Deputy James Dimas. “He took police action and he died for it.”
During the services, the Rev. David Anderson thanked his younger brother’s fellow law officials for their support. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the kindness. It’s not surprising that all my nephews want to be policemen,” he said.
As sheriff’s deputies carried Anderson’s flag-draped casket out of the church and more than 100 cars and motorcycles formed up for a procession to the San Fernando Mission Cemetery, one of Anderson’s neighbors stood outside the church with tears in her eyes.
“My son is going for the Highway Patrol this year,” said Eleanor Sturman. “It frightens me. There’s something good and wholesome about law and order and people have it in for law enforcement. There’s no respect.
Anderson is survived by his wife, Beth, and five-year-old son, Michael.