A behind the scenes look at a day in the life of an El Paso County Sheriff’s Reserve Deputy

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — They were first known as the Sheriff’s Posse organized back in 1953.

Nearly 65 years later, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Reserve Section is still going strong.

It’s a group of highly trained individuals who take the time out of their already busy schedules to serve and protect the community simply from the kindness of their hearts.

FOX21 got to ride along with Sgt. Mike Waters and it just so happened to be his 13-year anniversary with the Reserve Section.

Sgt. Waters is retired Air Force although he still works on base full-time. Once he’s clocked out there, every Friday and Saturday he puts on a different uniform.

“No day is ever the same as the last,” said Sgt. Waters.

Looking for a way to give back to the community, a neighbor of his first told him about the Reserve Section so he applied.

Sgt. Waters said, “The hiring process that the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office uses for the Reserves is identical to the hiring process they use for the full time deputies.”

Then comes a 22-week training academy. There’s three different tiers for Reserve Deputies. Once they’ve made it through training they are a Level C deputy which involves mostly security at crime scenes and events.

Level B deputies are actually the second deputy in a patrol car.

“At the very top of that pyramid is the level A deputy which is the solo deputy and that’s what I am and as a level A I can respond to any call for service just as the full time deputies do,” said Sgt. Waters.

As any cop, his job sometimes means facing danger.

Sgt. Waters said, “I’ve responded to armed robberies in progress, a lot of domestic violence calls and things like that but I don’t know that in any of those I’ve ever been in fear of my life.”

But in 13 years, one thing Sgt. Waters has seen is how law enforcement is viewed.

“I’ve been accused of racial profiling when obviously that’s not what we do but obviously that’s some of the accusations that are made against us,” said Sgt. Waters.

However he says he believes attitudes towards cops are now bouncing back.

Sgt. Waters said, “I believe that more people appreciate the fact that we’re out here than not.”

When recruitment is low its people like him who sacrifice their unpaid free time to serve and protect.

We soon got to see that first hand when Sgt. Waters got called to a deadly crash off Old Stage Road.

A car went off the side of the road and down a ravine. Mostly concentrating on directing traffic, Sgt. Waters jumped to work.

“I come out here and it’s an adventure every day,” said Sgt. Waters. “I tell my trainees I learn something literally every time I put on this uniform.”

Sadly this day it was two dead, three injured but that’s not what Sgt. Waters takes home with him, it’s knowing he’s there doing everything he can when someone needs help.

FOX21 asked him what it is inside that won’t let him stop serving. He talked about a quote from the movie Act of Valor, words he says define him. “Seek to make your life long and of service to your people.”

Sgt. Waters said, “I love the sense of community and giving back. I love being out here with my brothers and sisters and watching each other’s backs.”

Their average age is 45. They’re doctors, IRS agents, defense contractors, utilities workers, IT professionals, and both active and retired military. This is just a shortlist of occupations most Reserve Deputies do for a living, just like Sgt. Waters taking time from their families and busy careers to keep people safe.

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