Several hundred law enforcement officers from throughout the Bay Area were among thousands of people who turned out Thursday morning to honor former Contra Costa County Sheriff Warren Rupf at a memorial service in Pleasant Hill.
Rupf, 69, died Aug. 9 after a battle with leukemia. His death came more than a year after his retirement as sheriff, a position he had held for 18 years.
Roughly 2,000 people packed into the Christ the King Church on Brandon Road for the 10 a.m. memorial. Friends, family members and former
colleagues watched as Rupf's casket, draped with an American flag, was carried toward the alter.
Retired undersheriff Ron Jarrell was among those who spoke at the service.
"His value, his energy and his wisdom in addressing statewide law enforcement issues drew him instant credibility from his peers. He was a 'sheriff' in capital letters," Jarrell said.
Rupf assumed a range of titles at the sheriff's office and was elected to his first four-year term as sheriff in 1992. He began his tenure as sheriff with just 523 employees and left a department of 1,000 employees in 2011, sheriff's office spokesman Jimmy Lee. said.
Rupf was known for being active in the community, with a focus on youth and service organizations. In 1998, he established Martinez-based community service organization Sheriff's Charities Inc.
The town of Danville contracts with the sheriff's office for its police services.