This column is designed to highlight good and bad government in the Niwot-Gunbarrel area. Readers are encouraged to email the Courier with descriptions of local events showing exemplary performance by our government officials in serving the people, as well as those actions that fall well short of that standard. This week’s column features assistance provided to the Niwot Community by the youngest members of the Boulder County Sheriff’s staff.
Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle’s staff is often placed in difficult and dangerous situations, but they also provide services to the general public that often go unnoticed by most of us. Gunbarrel residents Steve and Niola DeTar recounted the experience of their daughter, Susan, at Niwot’s July 4th parade.
Susan DeTar, a 2018 graduate of Niwot High School, is a member of Cadet Post 500 with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Department and has been for most of the past two years. Cadets are not POST certified (Peace Officer Standards and Training certification) and do not carry weapons, but often assist regular members of the sheriff’s department. They dress as law enforcement officers and help provide a presence and sense of security, according to Steve DeTar.
The Niwot parade, scheduled to start at 11 a.m., began without a hitch with deputies on hand to close Niwot Road and 2nd Avenue. Susan DeTar and another cadet, Ben White, were there to assist with traffic control. But July 4th turned out to be a busy day for the sheriff’s department, as deputies were called during the parade to respond to several area accidents. That left Susan DeTar and White on hand to manage the traffic and road closures.
Steve DeTar said that for the Niwot 4th of July parade, his daughter and Ben White were asked by community members if they were allowed to open the roads after the parade. There were no deputies around to make that decision at the time, so they used their judgment and told the community members that they could open sections of the road at a time while the cadets made sure that people in the streets were aware of the open road and moved to the sidewalks.
Susan DeTar said, “We made that decision knowing that the community members were looking at us for guidance as we were in sheriff's office uniforms, and that they were allowed to open the roads off their own judgment in the first place.”
Susan DeTar will be a junior at the University of Northern Colorado in the fall, where she is studying criminal justice. She transferred to UNC after one year at the UNCS, but her IB credits from Niwot High School took the place of a year of college. She plans to continue as part of the cadet program.
“Cadet Post 500 is an amazing opportunity for any youth interested in serving the community of Boulder County and learning about law enforcement,” she said. “I have learned so much in my time with them regarding leadership, communication, and teamwork.”