Former Sheriff's Detective Tells of Corruption, Moral Courage in New Book

By  | 

TOPEKA, Kan. - A Topeka man is sharing experiences from his life in law enforcement to positively influence others.

Shawnee County Sheriff's detective, Daniel Jaramillo, retired from the agency December 18, 2008. He was with the Sheriff's Office for 28 years. "I feel good about my accomplishments," said Jaramillo. "I was lucky to have worked for the Shawnee County Sheriff's Office."

Detective Jaramillo said retirement isn't time to kick back, it's just a gateway to the next adventures in his life, which include promoting his new book, teaching, raising his son and maybe climbing a mountain.

"I know where my next chapter's going," Jaramillo said. "I'm going to move into the teaching field."

During his career with the Shawnee County Sheriffs Office, Jaramillo was a whistle-blower during the missing drug scandal of the 1990's that rocked the Sheriffs Office and led to the ousting of then-Sheriff Dave Meneley, and the resignation of many other deputies.

Jaramillo and deputy Phil Blume sued Shawnee County and former Sheriff Dave Meneley in February 2001, saying their free speech rights were violated when they were demoted in retaliation for their testimony against Meneley in a missing drug evidence case.

The scandal is just one of the experiences Jaramillo drew on to write a book about moral courage, titled Fortitude: Without Acknowledgment.

"Scandals are scandals," Jaramillo said regarding the incident. "They lack integrity. They lack fairness. They lack justice - all those key values and principles. I don't know that the specifics I need to get into. Any person can pick up that book and they'll see the specifics of a scandal. More importantly, I think we can learn from the lessons that were there."

Fortitude: Without Acknowledgment is an inspiring book that his wife, Brenda, was proud of. "She believed in the ideals of the book," Jaramillo said. "She wanted to make sure that I wrote this book more about a vision in life. Motivate people to a higher level. Inspire them, don't bring them down."

After the book's publication in May, Brenda lost her battle with breast cancer in September, leaving Jaramillo to raise their eight year old son, Luke. Jaramillo also has a 26 year old daughter, Danielle.

The support of his wife and the values instilled by his parents have helped shape Daniel in a way he hopes is a good example for his two children.

"I think they learn based upon how you respond to life events," Jaramillo said of his children. "How do you respond to adversity? Do you have that calm endurance? Can you stay the course? Can you stay focused on what matters most in life? They see that and that keeps them grounded, that keeps them anchored; and they'll remember that as they go through life."

You can pick up Jaramillo's book, Fortitude: Without Acknowledgment at most bookstores and on