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Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office The Detail Newsletter - January 2021

TEACHING COPS HOW TO STEP ON IT

"At 16 years old, I got tickets, I had accidents, I was a mess. Now, I'm teaching cops how to drive!" -- Deputy Shannon Lofland.
Deputy Shannon Lofland, Lead Driving Instructor with the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, teaches technical driving skills to other law enforcement agencies

It's well below freezing at the Douglas County Training Track but the cold weather has never stopped Deputy Shannon Lofland from doing what she loves.

"It's actually been my goal to design a driver's training course specifically for inclement weather or ice-driving," says Deputy Shannon Lofland.

For the past 12 years, Lofland has been "training the trainers" -- law enforcement instructors from across Colorado who take her week-long class, then return to their agencies to teach their own staffs how to drive.

Deputy Shannon Lofland watches her students perform precision driving

Lofland, who is P.O.S.T.-certified, is the first female lead driving instructor with the sheriff's office who trains the trainers. She's also the first in the state of Colorado.

"I love being a training officer. To me, training others is one of the most important things you can do to stay safe."

As her students hurl through the track, gaining speed, spinning around and then screeching to a halt, Lofland, in her gentle yet firm voice, shows them on how to control their vehicles in high speed.

"The biggest thing is confidence. If you have confidence, you can do anything. I work hard to instill that in each and every driver."
Deputy Shannon Lofland debriefs an all-male driving class at the Douglas County Training Track

It's no wonder Lofland's own skills can almost mirror a Nascar driver. She spends nearly 120 days a year on the driving track. Her program, designed specifically for law enforcement driving instructors, has students from all ranks, from patrol officers and deputies to police chiefs and sheriffs.

After the one week course is over, each of Lofland's students will return to their agencies with a better knowledge of vehicle control, skid control, pursuit driving, distracted driving, precision movements, pit maneuvers, high speed operations, counter-steering and so much more.

"My whole career at the sheriff's office has been such a blessing but the driving -- that's where my heart is. I love what I do, but I couldn't do it without the support of a strong team of instructors. They're my driving force."

ARAPAHOE COUNTY KIDS GET A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS

This is what the holiday is all about -- helping others and making people smile," says Sheriff Tyler Brown.

When the sheriff's office first put out a call for toy donations on December 9, we had no idea the response we'd get. The goal was simple: to collect toys and gift cards for less fortunate and needy families in Arapahoe County and turn them over to our partners at Human Services to distribute. So we placed a collection box in our lobby and within hours, it looked like this:

Everyday more and more toys came pouring in. Overwhelmed by the response, we held the give away at our headquarters instead. As part of it's Partnering for the Holidays program, Human Services invited families who couldn't afford to buy gifts for their kids this year -- those who are homeless, experiencing financial hardship and victims of abuse or neglect.

“Seeing the excitement and joy as the children picked their gifts warmed our hearts this season,” said Cheryl Ternes, Human Services Director. “This is an important time of year and we are grateful for the community and our partnership with the sheriff’s office to help make this time extra special to those we serve. Thank you to all who helped with Partnering for the Holidays.”
Toys are set up and ready to give away to families.

On December 22, families began showing up. Kids browsed eagerly through all the toys, searching for the perfect one. They ranged in age from newborn to 18. There was something for everyone.

Even our mounted patrol unit got in on the action...

Lt. Rich Anselmi and his horse Benelli greeting families

And so did Santa...

Undersheriff Mark Nicastle meets Santa

More than 150 families were served by the donations of our generous citizens. The Sheriff's Office hopes to do this again next year and reach even more.

Watch the news story on Telemundo Denver.

FAMILIES IN DEER TRAIL GET A CHRISTMAS SURPRISE

A group of Arapahoe County sheriff's deputies hit the local Walmart in early December to shop for toys for kids in Deer Trail. They were trying to get a head start on the town's annual holiday toy drive.

Deputy Dave Thompson shops for toys for children in Deer Trail

Four deputies who work in Precinct 8, the eastern portion of the county, teamed up with the Deer Trail Town Hall to try to make Christmas special for local families in need.

Just before Christmas, they delivered the toys to more than 70 local families, and as you can tell, they were thrilled with the surprise.

Deputy Richard Haight surprises Deer Trail family with toys

WILDLAND FIRE TEAM TACKLES GRASS FIRE

On December 9 at 6:45pm, firefighters from the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office Wildland Fire Team were dispatched to a wildland fire in the 25600 block of E. Quincy Ave.

Photo: Courtesy 5280Fire

They arrived on scene and found a large, slow moving fire near the Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site Landfill. The Wildland Team, along with other agencies, spent more than an hour dousing the flames and mopping up hotspots.

Photo: Courtesy 5280Fire

Firefighters were forced to take additional precautions due to the possibility of hazardous materials in the landfill and the presence of methane wells in the area. About 10 acres burned, no injuries were reported and the cause of the fire is under investigation.

FIRE BAN EASED

Recent moisture and relative humidity has allowed Sheriff Tyler Brown to ease fire restrictions. On December 9, fire restrictions in unincorporated Arapahoe County, Centennial, Foxfield and Deer Trail were lowered from Stage 2 to Stage 1. To learn about what is and isn't allowed in a Stage 1 fire ban, click the button below.

SHERIFF BROWN SWORN INTO OFFICE TWO YEARS AGO

It was exactly two years ago that Sheriff Tyler Brown was elected as the new sheriff of Arapahoe County and sworn into office on January 8, 2019 by Chief Judge Michelle Amico of the 18th Judicial District. Since then, Sheriff Brown has worked hard to maintain the solid reputation of his 800+ member agency.

"Even during these unprecedented times of COVID-19, I'm proud to say we’ve maintained our professionalism, dedication to service and retained all of our accreditations."
Sheriff Tyler Brown shakes hands with Chief Judge Michelle Amico after being sworn into office on January 8, 2019

Known for putting people first, he says these past 24 months as Sheriff have been the honor of his professional career and looks forward to the next two years.

19-year anniversary of a senseless murder

John Miller, 25

On January 15, 2002, early in the morning, a citizen discovered John Miller, a hardworking husband and father of two, lying on the concrete at the Iliff Turbo Car Wash at 9875 E. Iliff Ave.

John's injuries, later determined to be caused by blunt force trauma to his head, combined with the freezing temperatures and the extended period of time he lay face-down, bleeding on the cold concrete, ultimately proved fatal.

Despite emergency surgery and all-out efforts to save his life, John died ten days later on January 25, 2002. Witness reports indicated Miller and an Hispanic male were involved in a road rage incident, where an argument ensued and they followed each other to the car wash.

Miller’s vehicle, a 1981 Ford van, and another car were seen pulling into the car wash lot. Both males exited their vehicles and engaged in confrontation. Investigative leads in this case have proven solid, but certain questions remain unanswered in John Miller's pointless death.

If you have any information regarding this case, please contact the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office at 303-795-4711, or email coldcase@arapahoegov.com. To view all of our current cold cases, please click the button below.

MOUNTED PATROL "HORSING" AROUND FOR FAST FOOD

What do you do when you want Chick-fil-A but you're on horseback? Go to the drive-thru! Our mounted patrol unit trotted through the delicious fast food restaurant while patrolling the Streets of Southglenn. Workers said they loved seeing our six horses show up at the window.

Why of course... it was "our pleasure!"

Lt. Rich Anselmi and mounted patrol unit volunteers pose for a photo at Chick-fil-A in Centennial

ENDING 2020 ON A GOOD NOTE...

A citizen dropped off donuts at our District 5 Substation on New Year's Eve with this heartwarming note of appreciation.

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