A PASSION TO HELP KIDS
I will make sure your students return home, even if it means I don't." -- School Resource Officer Edred Bryan
It's the first day of the 2020 school year at Eaglecrest High and School Resource Officer Edred Bryan is happy to be back. He's been assigned to Eaglecrest for five years now, along with Deputy James Mason. He says becoming an SRO was a calling he couldn't ignore.
"When I was in high school, there was an SRO who had such a huge impact on me," says Bryan. "I didn't always make the best choices, but he was there to keep my path straight. He told me, 'I'm concerned about you, Ed. I want to help you. You have a bright future ahead.'"
Indeed he did. Bryan, a husband and father of two, became a patrol deputy with the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office in 2012. Less than three years later, he was an SRO.
His love of football in high school, led to a desire to coach. After his first year at Eaglecrest High School, Deputy Bryan became a varsity football coach where, as a defensive coordinator, he took the Raptors to two quarterfinals and a state championship.
Even as a football coach, Bryan is touching lives -- teaching his players how to be great leaders and how to make tough decisions. He's become such a positive influence on his athletes, they recently showered him with compliments at a Centennial City Council meeting when speaking about the importance of SROs in schools.
"Having SROs at our school makes it a better and safer environment for everyone. They are a true asset," senior Adrian Cordova told council members. "I pray nothing bad ever happens at Eaglecrest, but I know if it did, Deputy Bryan would lay down his life for any of the kids."
Another senior shared how Deputy Bryan walked by his friend's side on senior night at the football game when his friend's parents didn't show up.
Some kids don't have a dad, a father figure or either parent for that matter, and Coach Ed takes that role. His impact is much more than just being a police officer," says Seyi Oladipo.
Bryan says when he's not directing traffic, walking the halls or popping in classrooms to check on kids, he's building relationships by hanging out in the lunchroom and courtyard or shooting hoops with students. It's a job he takes great pride in.
I just love working with kids. They're just refreshing and fun to be around. I enjoy talking to them. I tell them my door is always open," says Bryan.
At the end of the day, he's quick to shift the focus off himself and says every SRO in his unit has the same level of commitment to the safety of children that he does.
So where does the humility come from? He attributes his patience, understanding and compassion with his faith. Growing up with a single mom, he attended church regularly. He says faith in God was deeply ingrained in his family. He even keeps a bible in his patrol car when he needs encouragement.
My only goal is to give back what was given to me -- and that's hope. If I can help one kid, I've done my job. A calling isn't always easy, but it sure is rewarding."
Stepping up enforcement at schools
With schools back in session, Arapahoe County sheriff deputies are increasing patrols in and around school zones. It's all part of our 2020 Safe Start Initiative to provide extra safety to students. Watch the story on KDVR FOX31 News to learn more.
co-responders: blending policing, mental health
After just six months, it’s becoming clear just how important the sheriff's office new co-responder program is to our community and our deputies.
“We’re just getting more and more mental health calls,” said Julie Jacobs, who oversees the Behavioral Health Response Program.
Earlier this year, the sheriff's office began enlisting help from trained mental-health professionals to help them on patrol. Soon, a therapist paired with a deputy were hitting the streets. In the first half of 2020, they assisted deputies with 508 mental health related calls for service. Examples include suicide threats or attempts, disturbing the peace, suspicious persons and other instances where citizens have escalated emotions.
Co-responders are employed by All Health Network. They do not carry weapons and do not wear a badge. Their plain attire helps separate them from deputies and in many cases, ease the tensions on scenes they’re responding to.
“Some people are just really elevated and need someone who doesn’t have a badge on their chest," says Deputy Kurzinger, who works with co-responders often. "The therapists are there to help talk to them, calm them down and make them feel safe.”
Co-responders listen to a police radio while at work and can self-dispatch if they hear a call that might be mental health related. They will also make sure individuals are transported to the right facilities for treatment, which allows the deputy to go back into service.
“Being a co-responder allows us the privilege to meet people and help support them in what could be one of the hardest moments of their lives,” said Micah Romero, a co-responder working with the sheriff’s office. “I enjoy working with deputies, as we both respect one another’s opinions and expertise. The collaboration allows us to best serve the needs of all members of the community.”
Learn more about the sheriff's office co-responder program below.
DEPUTIES GIFT AUTISTIC BOY WITH NEW BIKE
Zachary Gallagher, 12, rode his new bike to Newton Middle School in Littleton on August 11 and left it leaning against a fence next to a yellow sign that read "Free Furniture." Zach walked away for just a moment to watch the tree trimmers cut down a large tree, when a big truck came by and took his bike -- which was leaning next to a stack of furniture the school was giving away.
Zach has autism and is special needs. He didn't realize what he had done. His new yellow helmet was also taken. It was an innocent mistake but a big loss to him. When we posted the story to social media hundreds of citizens offered to donate and help. But it was a group of 20 sheriff deputies led by Lieutenant Daley, who reached into their pockets, headed to a local bike store and made sure Zach had a new bike that day!
Zach was thrilled and so was his dad. It was a great ending to an unfortunate incident. We are so thankful to everyone who offered to donate. We live in the best community and are proud to serve our citizens!
Watch Denver7's heartwarming story below.
RESPONDING TO CITIZEN QUESTIONS
How does the sheriff's office plan on protecting law abiding citizens? Are your body-worn cameras turned on at all times? What kind of de-escalation training do your deputies go through? These are just a few of the questions asked at the Law Enforcement Town Hall hosted by the City of Centennial and moderated by Mayor Stephanie Piko.
Sheriff Tyler Brown and Bureau Chief Public Safety Glenn Thompson answered those questions and much more for citizens and city council members. It was the fifth meeting regarding law enforcement since June.
This was a great opportunity to share the culture we have at the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office and explain how we provide professional law enforcement services to our constituents," says Sheriff Brown.
Blue Backs the Pink is back!
Join the fight against prostate and breast cancer
For the third year in a row, the ACSO is partnering with Littleton Adventist Hospital and KMGH Denver7 to support the fight against cancer. In September, Prostate Cancer Awareness Month, our employees will proudly wear wear blue patches and other blue items to support men fighting prostrate cancer. Then, we'll wear pink in October for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, to support breast cancer patients. Read more HERE.
As a law enforcement agency, we want to give back to the people we serve, and we're grateful to have Littleton Adventist Hospital and Denver7 as our partners," says Sheriff Tyler Brown. "We're better together and more powerful in our fight to beat cancer and save our citizens."
You can help us! When you purchase any pink or blue item, the money goes to help cancer patients throughout the state who can't afford treatment. Last year, we presented the hospital with a $2,000 check. This year, we hope to raise a whole lot more.
Please help us by buying a pink or blue item during the months of September and October. We have patches, hats, 2020 challenge coins, pins and new this year -- masks!