K-9 ROMAN PASSES AWAY
It is with great sadness we share the heartbreaking news that K-9 Roman has passed away. Roman was injured during a training exercise on May 5. He was taken to VCA Alameda East Veterinary Hospital where he underwent life saving surgery for a twisted intestine and colon. Roman survived the surgery and seemed to be recovering. But there were complications along the way.
On the day before his death, June 23, Darby Kelly of CoBank in Greenwood Village presented a check to the sheriff's office and donated $10K to help with Roman's medical bills.
That same day, Roman had been cleared to return to basic obedience where his job is to apprehend criminals. But he had lost a lot of weight and had also stopped eating.
The next evening, he unfortunately, took a turn for the worse. His handler, Deputy Zimmerman rushed him to the hospital. Every effort was made to save Roman but doctors had exhausted all their resources and had no choice but to put him down.
"I know we have a special place in our hearts for our canine partners and teammates at the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, so please keep Deputy Zimmerman and his family in your thoughts and prayers," Sheriff Tyler Brown, in an email to staff.
Roman, our hearts are broken. You are gone, but not forgotten. Thank you for helping us put bad guys behind bars. Thank you for never letting us down. But most importantly, thank you for your service to the citizens of Arapahoe County. Rest in peace buddy. We'll take it from here.
'CO-RESPONDERS' HIRED FOR MENTAL HEALTH CALLS
Every year, the sheriff's office receives hundreds of calls involving a mental health situation. They're not always calls where a deputy needs to respond.
"Sometime all they need is someone to talk them out of a bad situation and get them resources that can help them. Our co-responders are trained to do that," says Julie Jacobs, Behavioral Health Response Program manager.
In May, the sheriff's office hired its first three full-time licensed mental health crisis workers or "co-responders." They are paired with deputies to respond to calls that involve people with mental illness or emotionally charged situations. Their job is to help de-escalate the situation and get those people the services they need.
Deputies are not mental health professionals. They don't have the expertise or the time to handle these calls. We need to keep them on the street, protecting the community," says Jacobs.
Co-responders are civilians who work alongside deputies. They're not law enforcement officers and they don't carry guns. The hope is to engage with people who may otherwise be intimidated by a deputy in uniform. They drive their own vehicles with communications equipment and safety features to transport people, if needed, to mental health facilities or hospitals. You can read more about this story in the Denver Gazette or watch the news coverage below.
He's a chaplain AND a firefighter. How Damon Stage is ready to take the heat on a moment's notice
"One minute I'm ministering to inmates, the next minute, I'm fighting a brush fire. I love what I do," says Chaplain Damon Stage.
When Damon Stage took the job as a jail chaplain at the Arapahoe County Detention Facility nine years ago, he knew it was a higher calling.
"I get questions all the time about 'Who is God?' and I get to talk to folks who would otherwise never have a conversation with me," says Stage.
Stage's primary job is ministering to inmates of all religions, or sometimes no religion at all. He also provides spiritual and pastoral counseling to those who request it.
Recently, the sheriff's office also began using chaplains to help counsel its employees too. Deputy Justin Dillard, a patrol deputy with the ACSO and a former chaplain with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, will join Stage in that effort.
"We found that many of our employees would rather talk to a chaplain than one of their peers, so we incorporated two chaplains into our peer support program. It also offers that faith-based component, which our employees requested," says Laurie Halaba, Patrol Captain and Peer Support Director.
Two years ago, Stage's job took another turn when he saw an opening for a wildland firefighter with the sheriff's office. Having already taken the basic-level EMT program, it peaked his interest. He tested for the position, passed the physical and was hired.
"I know it's a totally different skill set, but I love helping the community and I believe in taking new opportunities that come to you," says Stage.
And finally, there's yet another hat Damon Stage wears, and that is he's also certified to officiate weddings. He's done so for several sheriff's office employees.
Stage says his motto is this: When God opens a new door, walk through it. It will always lead to more blessings.
SHERIFF’S OFFICE RECEIVES RARE TRIPLE CROWN ACCREDITATION HONOR
The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office received the prestigious Triple Crown award on June 24 at the National Sheriff’s Association annual conference in Phoenix, AZ.
The sheriff’s office is the first law enforcement agency in the United States to attain Triple Crown status under a fourth sheriff. This accreditation is so rare, only 49 sheriff offices in the U.S. have attained this status and only 22 have attained it under a different sheriff than the one who had originally attained the Triple Crown Award.
The award is presented to law enforcement agencies that have received professional accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement (CALEA); the American Correctional Association (ACA); and the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC).
“It’s an honor to be a part of this agency where the men and women take such pride in their jobs. This award belongs to every person who works here. There are strict national standards we have to meet where we’re audited for months and submit reports showing compliance with those standards. It’s a daunting task but it’s what makes us the best of the best," says Sheriff Tyler Brown.
Click below for more information on the accreditation process.
SHERIFF'S OFFICE ADDS 19 NEW DEPUTIES
19 cadets were sworn in to service on June 3 by Sheriff Tyler Brown after 21 weeks of intense training at the Highlands Ranch Law Enforcement Training Facility.
We want to congratulate each one of them on their accomplishment and say thank you for taking the oath to serve and protect the citizens of Arapahoe County.
If you'd like to apply for a position for our next academy, click below.
MOUNTED UNIT ADDS TWO NEW RIDERS
Every year, our mounted patrol unit must complete a week-long continuing education course at the Arapahoe County Fairgrounds. This year, five riders -- three deputies and two reserves -- graduated from the mounted police school.
Our two newest riders are husband and wife team, Bryan and Pauline Holland (large photo and inset), who came to us as reserves from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office Mounted Unit. Congrats to all of you, we look forward to seeing you at all the community events we have in store for 2021!
Learn more about our Mounted Unit HERE.
BEHIND-THE-SCENES FOR TEENS
22 teenagers from throughout the metro area got a behind-the scenes look at the sheriff's office during a week-long Youth Citizens Academy which took place June 1-4.
The teens, ages 14-18, learned about arrest control, crime lab, firearms, patrol duties, the drive track, K-9, SWAT, Bomb Squad and Mounted Patrol Unit demonstrations and got a building and history tour. Did you know we're the oldest sheriff's office in Colorado founded in 1858? We had a lot to teach these kids!
The four-day academy is FREE and is usually held in the first few weeks of summer break from school. To learn more about it, click the button below.
LOOKING BACK AT 2020
In June, the sheriff's office released its 2020 Annual Report highlighting some of the accomplishments and goals achieved over the course of last year.
We encourage you to review it and learn more about all that is happening at the sheriff’s office.
4TH OF JULY
Arapahoe County does not currently have a burn ban in place which means there are NO FIRE RESTRICTIONS for unincorporated areas of Arapahoe County, Centennial, Foxfield and Deer Trail. However, please remember fireworks that explode, leave the ground or fly through the air are illegal in Colorado. Please be safe.