ELKS DEPUTY OF THE YEAR
DEPUTY DERRICK NORRIS IS HONORED FOR HIS DEDICATION TO PUBLIC SERVICE
"I have never seen him without a smile on his face and a tremendous sense of pride for his profession." -- Sgt. Michael Reed
When Deputy Norris found out his Sergeant had nominated him for Elks "Deputy of the Year" he couldn't help but shed a few tears when he read the nomination form:
"Derrick impacts people's lives and his community every day. He treats everyone with dignity and respect. He dedicates countless hours to coaching kids in his rural area. He tends to livestock. He works full-time as a deputy. He adopted a drug-addicted baby and never once has he complained about any of it."
On March 27, Littleton Elks Lodge #1650 honored Deputy Norris, a 19-year veteran of the Sheriff's Office, for the service and sacrifices he's made as a first responder. They chose him as 2021 Officer of the Year.
"It was such an honor. I never expected this. Every day I wake up and my goal is to be better than I was yesterday -- a better cop, a better dad and a better husband. This is the first time I've been recognized for it," says Deputy Norris.
Deputy Norris, in all his humility, won't talk about himself unless, of course, you ask. He has quite a story. It was Spring of 2019, when he received a call from an old friend who knew of a baby boy born addicted to drugs -- meth, heroine, cocaine and prescription drugs. The baby needed a home quickly or the child would be placed in foster care.
Norris had a brief conversation with his wife Tiffany, a nurse, and right then and there decided to adopt the newborn, who was also developmentally disabled with a kidney and heart condition. At the time, Norris and his wife already had two kids, a daughter, 7 and a son, 9. But as Derrick will tell you, they had plenty love for one more.
"The only reason I believe I'm able to do all this is because I have an amazing wife who supports me. She's a wonderful person and I couldn't do any of it without her," says Norris.
Last July, the adoption became final. After the Arapahoe County courthouse was closed for months due to COVID, the Norris' became the first family to adopt a child in person, in 2020. Brycen Norris was a year and a half old.
"I was always afraid that if you adopt a child you would never love them the way you love one of your own. Well, Brycen proved that wrong. I love him just as much as my other kids and I would do anything for him," says Norris.
Today, Brycen is two years old and miraculously has no developmental disabilities, he grew out of his kidney and heart conditions and no longer requires daily medical care.
For Deputy Norris, who patrols the eastern portion of Arapahoe County in towns such as Watkins, Bennett, Strasburg, Byers and Deer Trail, his life couldn't be better these days. Sgt. Michael Reed perhaps summed it up best.
"Anyone who has Deputy Norris as a friend is truly blessed. Anyone who has him as a coworker is extremely fortunate. He has an unwavering moral compass and embodies what every cop should strive to be."
A MIRACLE IN THE MAKING
On March 16, the Sheriff's Office received a call from Sgt. Nate Kyelberg's family that stunned all of us... "Nate is awake and alert." He had been in the hospital with COVID for six weeks, four of them on a ventilator. A few days earlier, he began showing signs of improvement when doctors took him off the ventilator and he began to breathe on his own. His family finally got to see him for the first time and shared this photo.
Within hours of that call, word came that Nate would be released from Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree. We rallied our troops to give him a warm welcome and our deputies, along with hospital staff, lined the corridor to see him off.
Nate's entire family was there too. So was the local media who was excited to hear he had improved after following his story for weeks.
Sgt. Kyelberg will be in rehab for about a month, then he’ll finally get to go home. We want to thank everyone for all your prayers. They worked! We are all in awe of our wonderful colleague and his miraculous recovery and we can’t thank you enough for your love and support.
Book sales lead to $2K donation
Last month we brought you the story of Deputy Keli Hoffmann who wrote a book about her grief journey after losing her only brother to suicide. Not wanting to profit from her brother's tragedy, Hoffmann vowed to donate all the proceeds to Sgt. Nate Kyelberg's family. So far, Keli has donated more than $2,000!
On March 16, she presented her first check for $1,665 to the Arapahoe Fraternal Order of Police Kyelberg Family Fund.
Hoffmann says she hopes there will be more checks to come as her book continues to sell and Sgt. Kyelberg continues his recovery. If you'd like to purchase her book or e-book on Amazon, click the button below.
OFFERING SUPPORT TO VICTIMS OF CRIME
Are you a compassionate person who wants to make a difference in someone's life? The sheriff's office is looking for volunteer victim advocates who can work with crime victims or those who've experienced a traumatic event. It really does take a special person with a big heart. If that's you, apply today by clicking the button below or contact Renee Grengs at 720-874-4028 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
COME TAKE THE PLUNGE!
For Deputy Love Bug, our miniature therapy horse, every day is a new opportunity to be outside and see what the world has to offer. Honestly? We're a little jealous of her life. In the video below, Love Bug shares some training tips on how to run a 5K. Eat fresh food, embrace a little dust and support Special Olympics Colorado! Come with us as we run the 5K, then jump into the icy Aurora Reservoir for the Polar Plunge. The event takes place April 17. Join our team or donate HERE!
April 24, 2021 is National Drug Take Back Day. The sheriff's office will have several deputies collecting your expired, unwanted or unused prescription drugs at three locations in Arapahoe County. You can bring pills for disposal to:
- Kaiser, 5555 E. Arapahoe Rd.
- Centennial Medical Center, 12150 E. Briarwood Ave.
- Smoky Hill Library, 5430 S. Biscay Circle
Please no liquids, needles, or sharps. The service is FREE and anonymous, no questions asked. To keep everyone safe, the collection site will follow local COVID-19 guidelines and regulations. Read more about National Drug Take Back Day HERE.