My Dad, Jim Deyoe, has always been my hero. He has served citizens of Colorado as a police officer for the past 39 years, since 1981. In addition to serving as a police officer, he also served as a volunteer firefighter for various departments for over 30 years, from 1976 to 2009.
In grade school, I was asked to write about my definition of a hero. Some people thought of historical or political figures, but I wrote about my Dad. Every time I’ve contemplated questions like, “what does it mean to be a hero” or “what makes someone a hero”, he always comes to mind.
Having a parent in law enforcement means events, birthdays, and holidays away from family while they are out protecting the public. This makes our time together much more precious. Despite all the challenges, heartache, disservice, frustrations, trials and tribulations that I have watched my Dad go through, I've only grown prouder of him the longer that he's stayed in law enforcement while continuing to fight those challenges, refusing to let them kill his spirit and his love of police work.
My Dad taught me right from wrong and how important things like honor, dignity, and justice are. He instilled in me a desire to help others; to always do the right thing, no matter the cost; and to stand up for what's right, even if its not popular or easy. He also taught me about leadership and how being a true leader is more than just having a higher rank. During his time as a supervisor, he was the kind of leader who made sure his actions spoke louder than his words and wouldn't hesitate to get down in the trenches alongside his employees. He is never afraid to help out when the going gets tough and has never been one to see himself as better than anyone else.
As one might imagine, my Dad is not only my hero, but also my idol. So growing up, my dream was to follow in his footsteps and be a police officer, just like him. I even spent part of a high school summer vacation attending the Colorado State Patrol Youth Academy. After high school, I completed my bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice. Part of my dream of following in my Dad’s footsteps was to work at Parker Police Department, the same department where my Dad had worked for the first 16 years of my life. Parker PD held many memories for me and wasn’t just another place to work – many of the people there were like my second family. As an animal control officer, I had the chance to work alongside many of the same people my Dad had worked with in addition to getting to meet so many other talented people in the law enforcement profession. During my 10 years in law enforcement, I had the chance to live the best part of my dream - sharing the same passion, love, and excitement for police work with my Dad as we’d frequently discuss anything law enforcement related together.
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From Tiffany Lopes (Deyoe):
There aren't words that are adequate enough to describe how incredible this man is. You may think I’m saying this because he's my dad, but those who have met him understand what I mean. Many say he is quiet and serious, but once you get to know him, you experience his fun-loving personality.
My sister and I grew up observing him – his love for our family, his dedication, and his never-ending hard work. From an incredibly young age, he showed us you have to work hard for what you want. He didn't shield us from hard work and I'm so grateful because it has instilled in me the same work ethic he has.
I've always thought of myself as a patient person, but his patience is unmatched. His career gives him a daily dose of difficult people, but he deals with them with such ease, kindness, and professionalism; he never takes things personal or lets people ruin his positive outlook, no matter how awful some people treat him. He is the epitome of the phrase "Treat others how you would like to be treated." He is respectful to everyone he meets, even if they are less than that towards him.
My dad is always available to lend an ear and is always in my corner, but he's also diplomatic. He encourages you step back and acknowledge different perspectives. He is always willing to lend a hand, frequently volunteering to cover coworker’s shifts or work 20+ hour shifts to help cover shortages. It does not matter if he has worked all night, he is there to help in any way he can. He never asks for help and gives so much of himself to others. I can think of no one else more deserving of a little help.
Few people can look back on their careers and say – with complete certainty – they know they made a difference. In my eyes, my Dad is one of those people. He is one of the hardest workers we know while dealing with many hardships. His resiliency has come through time and time again, as it did when he located and arrested a drunk driver who had fled the scene after hitting and killing a CSP Trooper. Dealing with a tragedy like that would have been hard enough for any officer, but for it to have been a fellow officer whom he'd known, made it an even more difficult time. Despite that horrific time, he pressed on.
Our Dad is an incredibly humble, proud, and private person who doesn’t like to ask for help. He gives his whole heart to helping people, literally dedicating and risking his life to serve and protect others. He has accomplished some incredible things, yet is incredibly humble, never expecting any sort of award or thanks all the while stating, “I was just doing my job”.
However, even heroes need help sometimes. I have been reminding him of this lately as he has dealt with his own earth-shaking situation of being diagnosed with cancer.
Our Dad works two jobs. He has served as a Police Officer for the Town of Palmer Lake for the past 12 years. He is also a Custom Protection Officer for G4S Secure Solutions USA where he has been assigned to the Arapahoe County contract for over 3 years. Unfortunately, he does not have health insurance to help cover the costs of his medical care.
We appreciate any support you might be able to provide for our hometown hero.
With kind regards,
Brittany Deyoe and Tiffany Lopes
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