SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office is mourning the loss of one of their own, Deputy Robert “Taco” Talanges.
Beginning his law enforcement career in 1989 as a patrol officer with the Woodruff Police Department, Deputy Talanges served the Upstate for 33 years. It was throughout those years that those he worked with said he dedicated himself to his career.
“I’ve seen him work two whole shifts and then come and dive half the day trying to find evidence to put a bad guy in jail,” said Sheriff Chuck Wright, Spartanburg County. “That’s the kind of dedication he had. It’s hard to replace people like that.”
Deputy Talanges also used his career as a way to immerse himself in the community.
“He would sit on porches with these elderly people and just engage in conversation just to see how they’re doing and how their day is going and when the weather was inclimate, he would always make sure they had the proper heating, blankets, whatever they needed,” said Investigator Reginald Spurgeon, Department of Juvenile Justice and Spartanburg Police Department.
Taking on other roles – like being a member of the sheriff’s office dive team, as well as a firefighter early in his career – were something Deputy Talanges embraced. Those he worked alongside said he led by example.
“I had been in law enforcement for six years in Greenville County but he just embraced me and took me under his wing and showed me a good way – a nice way – how to police in the community,” said Spurgeon.
Those he worked with said that way of policing reflected who he was.
“Everybody that he has helped, he didn’t just do it because he thought he was obligated to do it, he did it because that’s who he was,” said Sheriff Wright.
As the community is gathering together to pay tribute to Deputy Talanges, they said what they will remember most is his attitude.
“For somebody that has to go out and see the things that he has seen all the time…to have such an upbeat attitude, shows me he has it figured out,” said Sheriff Wright. “My life is better because I got to know my friend Taco.”
If you would like to pay your respects to Deputy Talanges, services will be held later this week in Spartanburg at the First Baptist Church.