Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office The Detail Newsletter - February 2020

Blizzards, tornadoes, dam failures. We're ready.

On January 30, 2020, Arapahoe County held a grand opening for its first full-time Emergency Operations Center (EOC). This is where officials will gather to monitor and exchange information to respond to and recover from disasters. In quieter times, officials will prepare to manage emergencies there.

Grand opening of the Emergency Operations Center at the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office
"The EOC is a single place where all of our critical functions are coordinated from plow trucks, snow cats, and ambulances to pandemic response. The EOC brings the right people to the right place to work together in response and recovery to all hazards," said Nathan Fogg, Arapahoe County Emergency Manager.

In the last six years, the EOC has dealt with flooding disasters, dam leaks, active threats, blizzards, elections, and tornadoes. Moving forward, officials will continue to increase preparedness with this facility being the crown jewel of the process.

"Arapahoe County, the city of Centennial, and the city of Englewood are all served by the Office of Emergency Management. Having our full-time EOC allows our team and its 17 support functions to quickly engage in a growing event as we work to coordinate and supply the response," said Fogg. Ultimately, this process helps save lives, property, and reduces the environmental impact while at the same time keeps response costs lower. Previously it would take our whole team nearly one and half hours to roll our supplies from the storage closet into the room we used. We can walk in now and turn on the lights and get right to work, training or drills. Sheriff Tyler Brown’s vision and support for this center was the critical piece in moving the project forward."

Disasters happen

Please take our three-question survey below and let us know what dangers concern you most. We’ll include your comments in our updated Hazard Mitigation Plan. Together, we'll protect our community.

Arapahoe County is updating its Hazard Mitigation Plan to assess natural and human-caused hazards that may affect you like cyber attacks, floods and wildfires. The goal is to save lives and property when disasters strike. Actions we take today will help reduce the risk for a natural hazard for 30 years.

New check-in program lets seniors know someone cares

We may be living longer, but not necessarily better. According to studies, 29% of seniors in the United States live alone. Older adults who live alone are more likely to be poor, lonely and socially isolated. That’s why the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office has started Senior Check In. We want adults in Arapahoe County to know that someone cares. It also offers some peace of mind for family members living out of the area.

“This program creates connections and makes our world stronger. I have been calling my senior for three years now, and we have lunch on a regular basis! She is a great friend and confidant that I treasure. It is our hope that through this program more of these relationships with bloom and cultivate exactly what Arapahoe County strives for in ‘an emphasis on community spirit,’” said Lea Harms, Communications Supervisor at the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.

Seniors who join the check-in program will receive a weekly call by a volunteer. The volunteer will ask about their well-being and make sure they’re doing OK. If there is no answer, the volunteer will call again until they make contact with the senior. If there is no response, the volunteer will contact the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office. We will call the senior’s emergency contacts and will dispatch a deputy to conduct a wellness check.

To qualify to be in the program, the person must be 60 years or older, live alone (not in a nursing home or an assisted living facility,) and not have any relatives nearby. The senior must also live in the city of Centennial, the towns of Foxfield, Bennett (the Arapahoe County section) or Deer Trail or in the unincorporated areas of Arapahoe County.

To join the program yourself or enter a senior in the program, apply here. We’re also looking for volunteers to make weekly check-in calls. Apply to volunteer. Learn more. For questions, please call 303-795-4711 or email us at Seniorcheckin@arapahoegov.com

Surviving the Stall

By Sr. Deputy Robert Abbott, Traffic Safety Unit

Murphy’s Law invariably rears its ugly head at the most inconvenient times. Like when this check engine light flashes in your dashboard:

Or the dreaded "E" on your fuel gauge (totally preventable)!

If your vehicle starts sputtering and acting like it’s going to stop, here's a few things to do immediately before time runs out:

  1. Turn onto a side street. Don’t pass up safer options and stall out on a busy roadway.
  2. Get to the right side of the road where the curb is, if you cannot get to a side street immediately.

Once the inevitable happens and you are stalled out and stopped, turn your hazards on! This will allow drivers to see that your vehicle is stopped and disabled. If you weren't able to make it off the roadway and onto a side street, here's a few items to think about after you turn the hazards on:

  1. Make calls to AAA or roadside assistance, your insurance company or family and friends.
  2. If you ended up on a major roadway in heavy traffic, call the non-emergency number of the local law enforcement agency you're in to advise them of the situation. An officer may be able to respond to provide traffic control or push your vehicle off the roadway to a safer location.
  3. Stay with your vehicle. Some people feel the need to leave the vehicle and walk to a gas station. If you do that, leave a contact number on your dashboard. If you don't, no one will know how to reach you and if your vehicle is in the right-of-way and blocking the normal flow of traffic, it could be towed as an abandoned vehicle.
  4. Lastly, do not get out of your vehicle and stand in traffic. Either stay in your vehicle and make phone calls, or if weather permits and the situation is comfortable for you, stand off on a sidewalk or somewhere other than walking around the vehicle while traffic passes next to you.

These tips should help you in survive the stall.


Henry Wagoner was our first African-American sheriff's deputy

"We keep these memories alive to remind us of their legacy," says Patrol Special Operations Captain Ken McKlem.

The history of the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office is as rich as its soil. Founded in 1858 as part of the Kansas Territory, the ACSO became the first sheriff’s office in Colorado. E.W. Wynkoop was appointed the first Arapahoe County sheriff. Our very own history buff Captain Ken McKlem has kept alive the spirit of many former deputies by memorializing them on the walls of the sheriff's office.

In 1880, Henry Oscar Wagoner became our first African-American sheriff's deputy -- and some say the first black lawman in Colorado. Later that same year, the Denver Police Department appointed its first African American officer, following in Arapahoe County’s footsteps. It was Wagoner’s advocacy for African-Americans that helped push for the change.

Deputy Henry Wagoner was born on February 27, 1816 and died of natural causes on January 27, 1901. Wagoner was a civil rights pioneer in Chicago and Denver, worked on a farm to free slaves in the Underground Railroads, was the first clerk of the Colorado legislature in 1876, and was a typesetter and journalist for anti-slavery newspapers before slavery ended in Chicago. Wagoner was well-established before being appointed deputy sheriff in 1880.

"It's important to let people know what our history is all about so future deputies can look back and remember that it's not only about us, but it’s about all who have served," says McKlem.

In September 2019, we were honored to bestow the Meritorious Service Medal posthumously to former deputy Henry Wagoner at the ACSO's awards ceremony.


First graders at Trails West Elementary School in Centennial got some hands-on experience by our 911 dispatchers on what an emergency really is and how to make the call.

"Teaching these kids how to use 911 in an emergency is one of the most important lessons they'll learn," says Nate Treusch, ACSO Communications Supervisor.

The Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office 911 education program started in 2012 but this is the first time they were doing outreach and educating kids in the schools.

"You're never too young to learn how to dial 911 we want to make sure the kids know they can contact first responders if there's an emergency," says Treusch.

The dispatchers' lesson focused on teaching the six and seven-year-old students about what an emergency is and what to tell dispatchers when they call.

Bottom line: teach your kids their phone number and their address and hammer that home. It's the most important information they can have when they're young.

Watch FOX31 Story HERE.

Can you help solve this cold case?

Marilee Ruth Burt, 15

On a chilly winter evening, February 26, 1970, 15-year-old Marilee Burt finished cheerleading at a basketball game at Goddard Middle School. Her home in Columbine Valley was a short distance away, so when her ride did not show up, Marilee began walking. Despite several witnesses seeing Marilee walk a route that included Berry Drive, Bowles Avenue and Middlefield Road, she never made it home.

Marilee was last seen talking to someone in a vehicle that had stopped on South Middlefield Road. Her family began a frantic search and reported Marilee as missing to the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office. Authorities immediately began canvassing the area, but she was not found that evening. The search continued into the next day and ended tragically around noon. A Jefferson County road crew discovered Marilee’s nude body in Deer Creek Canyon, southwest from where she was last seen. It was determined that Marilee had been strangled and raped, but no solid suspect leads developed and the case went cold.

During a 1998 review of the case, evidence collected in 1970 was submitted for DNA analysis and yielded a full donor profile. This, in turn, allowed for the elimination of a long list of possible suspects. Currently, the Cold Case Team is utilizing this new genetic profile in an attempt to identify Marilee’s killer. If you have any information regarding this case, please contact the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office at 303-795-4711.

Better health care for inmates

Arapahoe County Sheriff Tyler Brown and Chief Vince Line give a tour of the jail to Lieutenant Governor Dianne Primavera to discuss its new medical-sharing database for inmates. Our jail is one of the first in the state to use the new Health Information Exchange (HIE) program. The program ensures continuity of care for inmates when they are transferred in and out of jails or mental health facilities.

The jail book club

It’s a new idea to bring common interests together between inmates and deputies -- a book club inside the Arapahoe County jail. Recently, the Arapahoe County Libraries bought 100 copies of the book, 'Allegedly' by Tiffany Jackson and spread them around the jail for inmates and employees to read. The goal? To give inmates and deputies a topic of conversation that isn’t jail-related.

“I think some deputies were hesitant because it’s crossing a barrier that we’re not used to,” said Detention Deputy Searle. “You’re learning to talk to people on a more personal level about their personal life.”

The book was a hit with inmates who have plenty of time to read and discuss it with one another.

“I talked with a couple of people about the book and I’ve discussed it with the library ladies too,” said Gregory, a jail inmate. “It’s a good book. It definitely gets you talking!"

Most of those who read the book say they enjoy the program and feel there's a stronger common bond between inmates and deputies. The jail's budget allows the library to run the book club once a year, but that could become more frequent if the library can get more financial and/or book donations.

Sheriff's office donates $2K to fight cancer

Sheriff Tyler Brown presents a check for $2,000 to Littleton Adventist Hospital from our 'Blue Backs the Pink' campaign. It's the first of several checks the sheriff's office plans to donate this year to help pay for treatment for prostate and breast cancer patients. If you'd like to support the fight against cancer, click the button below to purchase our pink and blue patches, hats, challenge coins and more!


PARENTS! Don't miss this event. Your kids will thank you!

Brrrring it on! We're freezin' for a reason at this year's Polar Plunge on February 22!

Help us raise money for Special Olympics Colorado. You can plunge with us, go for a run, watch us freeze or just donate. Join our sheriff's office team, enter as an individual or create your own team.

  • 9:30 AM – Registration
  • 11:00 AM – 5K Run
  • 12:00 PM – Plunge
  • 12:30 PM – After Splash Bash


February 27

8:00 - 10:00 AM

Join us for a free cup of coffee this month as our deputies gather with the community to discuss issues, learn more about each other and build relationships.

Our mission? To break down the barriers between our deputies and the citizens we serve.


21900 E. QUINCY AVE.

AURORA, CO 80015

For questions call Deputy Natasha Romero at 720.874.4095 or nromero@arapahoegov.com

Want to see the sheriff go bald?

Join our team for the St. Baldrick's Shave-a-thon on March 28 and help us raise money for childhood cancer research. If the 'ACSO Baldies' raises at least $10,000, Sheriff Tyler Brown has vowed to shave his head! We hope you'll join us and get involved. If you aren't brave enough to shear your locks, you can still register to be a volunteer.

Left to right (seated): Sharon Murphy, Deputy Aaron Murphy and Terri Genson getting heads shaved during the 2019 St. Baldrick's Shave-a-thon at Welcome Home Brewery in Parker.

This year, we are honoring four-year old Cameron Barrow who is suffering from a cancerous brain tumor. Cameron has directly benefited from the research and studies done by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. Cameron is also featured as an ‘Honored Kid’ by the St. Baldrick’s Foundation and his story is shared in the video below. Cameron, along with his parents, Kris and Lauren, will be attending our event.


Get a behind-the-scenes look at the sheriff's office

We are now accepting applications for our Adult Citizens' Academy. The five-week academy takes place March 31 - April 28, 2020. The class is limited to 25 people and is first come, first served.