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Texas deputy fired for grieving fallen officer loses fight to get job back

John Loughran was allegedly fired because his grieving of a fallen cop was preventing him from doing his job

By PoliceOne Staff

AUSTIN, Texas — A judge upheld a sheriff’s decision to terminate a deputy for grieving a fallen officer. 

Former Deputy John Loughran was allegedly fired in March because his grieving of a fallen deputy was preventing him from doing his job, KXAN reported. Loughran, a 24-year veteran, was supervising Deputy Jessica Hollis in 2014 when she was swept away by floodwaters and killed. 

Loughran said he was asked to select pallbearers, give the eulogy at her funeral and helped put her in her casket. He said he struggled with her death.

“I was taking care of everybody, my troops and Jessica,” he said. “Whatever needed to be done, I was there to do it, and when I needed this agency, they were not there for me.”

For the two years he was coping with Hollis’ death, he was placed on administrative duty then administrative leave twice. 

“Police officers see and hear and smell, experience things on a regular basis that people are not supposed to see or experience ever, and they do it with honor, they do it with pride,” he said, “But when they need help, they’re told to get back to work.”

Loughran said while he’s disappointed that the decision was upheld, he plans to appeal it. 

“I believe this is a huge step back for the mental health of officers, as far as them being able to come forward and say hey I need help,” he said.

According to KXAN, the sheriff’s department declined to comment.

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