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

2020 to be the best year yet

Sheriff Tyler Brown sets goals for the new year

I want 2020 to be about partnerships. We want to work closely with you and our businesses and schools to maintain a strong and safe community.

After a tumultuous time in our nation, in 2020, I want the community to come together and work collaboratively for the good of all.

With that in mind, we're launching new programs and expanding others in the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office. These programs will allow us to interact in positive ways to help solve and prevent crime.

  1. We are partnering with the home security company Ring to engage with and inform Arapahoe County residents about crime and safety information. Residents will be able to share videos when investigators send a request for evidence of crimes happening at or near their homes, and we will be able to post important crime and safety alerts in neighborhoods.
  2. We will officially launch our Senior Check In program. It allows us and local volunteers to check on the well-being of isolated seniors in our community once a week. The phone calls give family members who live out of town or out of state some peace of mind, and lets the seniors know someone cares.
  3. We are going to increase the number of Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) deputies. CIT teaches deputies how to speak and interact with people and their families during mental health crisis. With our new Behavioral Health Response (co-responder) Program (BHRP), our staff will respond to calls involving mental health crisis. The goal is to de-escalate the crisis and to direct the individual to appropriate resources and assistance.

Let's build a safer and stronger community together. - Sheriff Tyler Brown

New deputy has a nose for crime

K-9 Nuke started sniffing Arapahoe County buildings in December for explosives

Deputy Tadd Alexander has a new partner with a real nose for crime. His name is Nuke. The one-year-old Dutch Shepherd is the ACSO's first explosive-detecting K-9. Our five other K-9s detect drugs.

Nuke teamed up with Deputy Alexander in early December to sweep the Arapahoe County courthouse and other county buildings for bombs, explosives and firearms.

"Nuke has a crazy nose. With shell casings, he is able to detect 18 scents of explosives. And he doesn't quit. He doesn't give up." Deputy Tadd Alexander said.

Nuke and the ACSO's other K-9s are a gift from Back the Blue K-9 Force, a nonprofit that raises money to buy and care for police dogs. Watch Nuke in action below.

Kids & K-9s

8th grader steps up to help

When 13-year-old Laurel Caranta was assigned to do a community service project for her confirmation class at Joy Lutheran Church, she had no idea it would turn into a fundraising effort for police dogs.

It all started when the 8th grader at Liberty Middle School in Aurora met Diane Lewis, creator and founder of Back the Blue K-9 Force. Diane shared with Laurel how she raises money to fund supplies for K-9s in Colorado. Laurel knew instantly she wanted to help.

"I chose this for my community service project because I knew it would mean so much to so many people," said Laurel Caranta. "I have a puppy of my own and I love dogs. I wanted to help protect these animals any way I could."

Laurel quickly got to work. She made fliers to hand out to neighbors, she asked her church to place an ad in its bulletin and weekly newsletter asking for donations. Within days, the money began pouring in. Her goal was simple: raise $2,600 to buy one dog a ballistic vest.

"I was shocked and so incredibly happy for how much people began donating. It was insane!"

Laurel asked Diane if she would reach out to the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office to ask if a K-9 deputy could bring a dog to her church. Deputy Kelly Draper didn't hesitate and dropped in with K-9 Kilo.

ACSO Deputy Kelly Draper (far left) brings K-9 Kilo for a church visit
Church members meet K-9 Kilo at Joy Lutheran Church in Parker

By the end of December, Laurel reached her goal.

Laurel Caranta petting K-9 Kilo at her church fundraiser

Laurel plans to present a check to Back the Blue K-9 Force and says the non-profit can use the money any way it chooses.

"I do know these dogs need more than vests," says Laurel, "so if they need to buy food, training treats or other items, that's perfectly fine with me!"

Snow vs. All-Season Which tires are best?

By Thomas Finley, Patrol Deputy

"I have pushed four-wheel drive SUVs with bad tires up hills, while rear-wheel drive sedans with good tires drive right up that same hill with no problem," said Thomas Finley, ACSO Patrol Deputy.

One of the selling points of living in Colorado is 300 days a year of sunshine. While that statement is true most years, it does not negate the need for adequate snow tires on your vehicle in winter months.

I have been a patrol officer for 16 years, which means 16 Colorado winters. My personal experience tells me the car that gets stuck on relatively small hills almost always has inadequate tires.

The most common argument against snow tires I hear from people is, "I drive a four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicle." In 2017, consumer reports did a study that showed snow tires to be beneficial whether you drive a two-wheel drive, an all-wheel drive car or an SUV.

I know that my personal experience is anecdotal, so here are a few researched arguments for snow tires:

  1. Below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the rubber compound in all-season tires begins to harden, reducing your tire’s ability to grip the road. Snow tires are made of a special rubber compound that allows the tire to remain flexible down to -30 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Studies show snow tires stop 30% better than all-season tires when skidding on cold slippery roads.
  3. Snow tires reduce the risk of hydroplaning by having special grooves that push water off to the sides.
  4. Snow tires are often narrower than all-season tires. The narrower tire can exert more downward pressure, helping cut through snow rather than driving on top of it

Colorado Law does require drivers to have adequate tires. CRS 42-4-228(5)(a) states: “No person shall drive or move a motor vehicle on any highway unless such vehicle is equipped with tires in a safe operating condition.”

The bottom line is: don’t be the person who gets stuck trying to climb up a small, icy, snow-packed road, or worse, who causes a preventable accident. Invest in snow tires for winter driving. All of us on the road will thank you.

Spreading joy to kids with cancer

"As a law enforcement officer, there is nothing better than serving the community and giving back," says Deputy Natasha Romero.

More than a dozen deputies from the Arapaphoe County Sheriff's Office joined Cops Fighting Cancer's Long Blue Line to help spread joy to kids with cancer at Children's Hospital Colorado. Our deputies were rewarded with big smiles and hugs.

DEPUTY WINS 'HERO AWARD'

One of our deputies who serves and protects you has won the 'Hero Award' from the Cherry Creek School District. The award is presented for outstanding service or extraordinary action by someone who has made a difference for students, staff or a school. Watch the story below about his award.

SHOP WITH A COP

This is one of our favorite events for families in need. Our community partners help provide holiday gifts for 100 underserved children and allows them to pick out gifts for their family members. For some kids these may be the only gifts they receive over the holidays. Our warmest thanks this year to Bread of Life Community Outreach, Walmart stores, Del Frisco's and Boeing.

Shop with a Cop at Walmart in Centennial. Photos by Bob Bonner and Deputy Leslie Shalosky.

Whether you’re a victim of a violent crime, involved in serious car accident or have experienced a traumatic event, victim advocates from the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office will offer you support and resources through your darkest hour.

Advocates are dedicated to helping residents who are crime victims or otherwise traumatized. They provide crisis response 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The volunteer advocates are trained to provide crisis intervention and short-term support. Advocates are also a valuable resource to deputies and first responders who say it frees them up to do the work they need to do.

Victim advocates have two goals. First, to help you and your family during the chaos that follows a traumatic event. Secondly, to help with your emotional needs so that deputies, investigators and emergency personnel can perform their duties. Advocates serve as a liaison between the victim and the people who investigate the scene.

The Arapahoe County Victim Assistance Program consists of one coordinator, two staff advocates and 25 community volunteers. At any given moment, you might find one of our volunteers at a residence providing crisis intervention to the parents of a runaway teen, in a high school classroom talking about dating violence or accompanied by a uniformed deputy making a death notification.

All volunteers attend the Victim Assistance Training Academy and are required to have a background check, which includes a polygraph.

If you would like to speak to a victim advocate, call the Victim Assistance Program at 720-874-4038 or email them at sheriffvictimassistance@arapahoegov.com. If you need to reach them in an emergency, please dial 911.

Can you help solve this cold case?

Mark Davis, 48

On January 18, 2019, at 5:45 AM, deputies responded to the area of 14400 E. Fremont Ave. in Centennial on a report of shots fired. The reporting party called 911 after hearing what she believed was several gunshots and possibly someone making moaning sounds. The woman didn't know where the shots came from, other than the direction of the warehouses near the apartment complex.

Deputies checked the area and did not locate anything. At 7:11 AM, 911 dispatchers received a call from a resident who said her son had found an unconscious man lying on the ground near the sidewalk by Building 1. When deputies arrived, they found the victim near near a large tree with a gunshot wound to the head. They also found several spent shell casings near the body, but no weapon.

Investigators have interviewed several witnesses and also reviewed videotape from nearby businesses, but as of today, no one has been arrested or charged with the murder of Mark Davis.

If you have any information about this case, please contact Arapahoe County Cold Case Investigator Kal Gatchis at 720-874-3785 or kgatchis@arapahoegov.com.

Keeping an eye out for you

Take a look at these faces. These men and women were just sworn in as deputies in Arapahoe County. The cadets graduated after 22 weeks of intense training at the Highlands Ranch Law Enforcement Training Facility and the Flatrock Regional Training Facility in Commerce City. Welcome aboard!

Sheriff Tyler Brown swears in new deputies at the Highlands Ranch Law Enforcement Training Facility
Sheriff Tyler Brown deputizes cadets at the Flatrock Regional Training Facility

12 days before Christmas, an Elf on the Shelf stirred up trouble.

Pink Patch photo contest winner gets free K-9 demo

Bee Waters (second from left) and her family are treated to a private K-9 demonstration for winning our 'Pink Patch Photo Contest' in October!

UPCOMING EVENTS

Want a challenge? Join us at the Polar Plunge February 22!

Help us raise money for Special Olympics Colorado. You can plunge, run, watch or donate. So register now. You can join our team, enter as an individual or create your own team. Just click the link below.

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

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. Click the link below for more information.

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.